"USA Gymnastics is proud to partner with Special Olympics for such a fantastic event for a third year," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We are pleased to support these athletes who inspire through their hard work and dedication to the sport of gymnastics."
The artistic competition is for skill Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4, with rhythmic gymnastics for Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Competition includes both individual and Unified gymnasts. A Unified gymnast is a partner without intellectual disabilities who will compete the same routine as the Special Olympics athlete, and the pair's scores will be combined for a team total. For rhythmic group, there are an equal number of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners in each group. TeamGym may have both Unified partners and Special Olympics athletes.
TeamGym is a competitive version of group gymnastics that features squads of athletes performing together in two events – group floor exercise and group jump.
For more information, please go to usagym.org/specialolympics. Men's and women's gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics will follow Special Olympics rules, while TeamGym will use USA Gymnastics rules. Participant entry forms are due by April 1, 2013.
The USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships is hosted locally by Chattooga Gymnastics, Special Olympics Georgia and Special Olympics Cobb County.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.