Get ready, Greensboro.
USA Gymnastics announced today that the 2014 American Cup would be held in Greensboro, N.C., marking the fifth straight year the Cup has been held on the east coast.
I ran into USA Gymnastics COO Ron Galimore at the 2013 edition in Worcester, Mass. earlier this year. When I asked where the 2014 American Cup would be held, he said they hadn’t nailed down a location yet, but hoped it would be “somewhere a bit warmer” than Worcester in March.
The American Cup, an FIG World Cup competition for the past couple of years, informally kicks off the international elite season. While some claim it is skewed in favor of Americans, the American Cup has historically done a decent job of “taking the temperature” of international gymnastics and attracts several big names.
The eight-person all-around competition has yielded many surprises in the past, from an early 10 by Nadia Comaneci at the inaugural American Cup in 1976 to 2012, when exhibition gymnast Gabby Douglas posted the highest all-around total of all competitors, jumpstarting her road to the top of the podium in London.
Here’s the full press release from USAG:
GREENSBORO, N.C. May 21, 2013 – USA Gymnastics, the U.S. national governing body for gymnastics, announced today that the 2014 AT&T American Cup has been awarded to Greensboro, N.C., the first time the event has been held in North Carolina. Scheduled for Saturday, March 1, 2014, at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the AT&T American Cup is the premier international event held in the United States.
The competition features top male and female all-around gymnasts from around the world and is broadcast live on NBC Sports. Tickets are expected to go on sale this summer.
“North Carolina has a lot of gymnastics fans and athletes, and Greensboro will be the AT&T American Cup’s first host city in the state,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We were impressed with the facilities, the hospitality, enthusiasm of the local community, and the commitment of civic and city officials. The local organizations have a successful track record for hosting Olympic and amateur sports events. We look forward to a strong partnership and a great event in 2014.”
In conjunction with the AT&T American Cup, the Nastia Liukin Cup, which features many of the country’s top Junior Olympic female gymnasts, will be held on Feb. 28 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the night prior to the American Cup. The Nastia Liukin Cup, named after the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and one of the USA’s most popular gymnasts, showcases gymnasts who qualify through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. The Cup series includes many of the top invitationals held in the USA from January through February.
“We are thrilled to be selected for these prestigious national and international gymnastics competitions,” said Matt Brown, managing director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. “To host an elite event such as the AT&T American Cup, with a live, national broadcast, is tremendous exposure for Greensboro. Having USA Gymnastics bring these events to Greensboro is further confirmation of our first-class facilities and our demonstrated major event capabilities.”
Greensboro will be “gymnastics central” the last week of February because the 2014 Greater Greensboro Invitational is scheduled for Feb. 26-March 2, 2014, and will serve as the final qualifying event for the Nastia Liukin Cup. This is the first time the event has been part of the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. In addition, designated women’s sessions for the invitational’s finals will use the equipment and podium brought in for the AT&T American Cup.
“USA Gymnastics has created an amazing top-tier Gymnastics Week in Greensboro,” said Hill Carrow, chairman of North Carolina 2014, a collaborative team of local organizations including the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greensboro Sports Commission, serving as hosts for the gymnastics competitions. “This is the first time the Nastia Liukin Cup and the AT&T American Cup have been held in North Carolina, and it is our goal to ensure that the very positive experience of the gymnastics athletes and officials leads to more USA Gymnastics events in the state.”
The USA’s Katelyn Ohashi of Allen, Texas/WOGA, and Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma, won the 2013 AT&T American Cup. They join an impressive list of former American Cup champions, including Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Danell Leyva, Liukin, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton, Peter Vidmar and Jordyn Wieber. Past sites for the American Cup include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); and Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013).
The Nastia Liukin Cup made its debut in 2010 in Worcester and returned in 2013. Other sites for the Nastia Liukin Cup are Jacksonville, Fla. (2011), and New York City (2012).
The Gymnastics Examiner | Facebook | Twitter | Subscribe above