INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12, 2011 – The USA's top gymnasts enjoyed great international success in 2011, putting the United States in a good position heading into the Olympic year. Here's a brief look at the highlights from 2011.
The USA qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in men's and women's gymnastics and women's trampoline, based on performances at the 2011 World Championships. The United States will have the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics and men's trampoline at the 2012 Olympic Test Event.
At the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the United States won a total of seven medals, including four gold, and secured team berths to the 2012 Olympic Games in London for both men's and women's gymnastics. The women's team gold medal is the USA's first since 2007 and third overall. For the men, the team bronze medal is the first team medal since 2003. The individual gold medalists are: Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Geddert's Twistars USA, all-around; McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All-Olympia Gymnastics, vault; and Danell Leyva of Miami/Universal Gymnastics, parallel bars.
At the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, the USA won three medals in addition to qualifying for women's trampoline at the Olympic Games. Austin White of Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, earned the men's double mini-trampoline silver medal, and the USA won the team bronze medal in both men's and women's double mini-trampoline.
At the Pan American Games, the USA's gymnasts earned 18 gymnastics medals, including nine gold. The gold medalists were: women's team; women's all-around and uneven bars – Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite; women's vault – Brandy Jay of Ft. Collins, Colo./GK Gymnastics; still rings – Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors; horizontal bar – Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./University of Illinois; and rhythmic gymnastics all-around, ball and ribbon – Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Capital Rhythmics.
Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, won the USA's first World Cup series title for men's tumbling.
The U.S. women won a total of 40 medals in international competition in 2011, as of Dec. 11.
World Championships. The U.S. women captured the team gold medal, remaining the only country in the world to have won a team medal at every World Championships or Olympic Games where a team competition was contested since 2000. With this performance, the women qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
- The U.S. women earned the team gold medal for the just the third time in history (2003, 2007, 2011), besting second-place Russia by more than five points. The American squad hit 24-for-24 routines and 12-for-12 during the qualification and team finals competition rounds, respectively. The members of the U.S. Team were: Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute; McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All-Olympia Gymnastics; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic Gymnastics; Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA; and Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, alternate.
- Wieber became the sixth U.S. woman to claim the all-around gold medal. In addition, she earned the bronze medal on the balance beam.
- Maroney won the gold medal on vault, the third consecutive American to take top honors on the event.
- Raisman captured the floor exercise bronze medal and earned a fourth place all-around finish.
- The team gold medal gave Sacramone her 10th career World medal, the highest number earned by a U.S. female gymnast.
Pan American Games. Team USA won five medals, including four gold, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. women's team won the team gold medal, its 12th in Pan American Games history.
- The members of the gold medal team: Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC; Jessie DeZiel of Rogers, Minn./Twin City Twisters; Brandie Jay of Ft. Collins, Colo./GK Gymnastics; Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute; Grace McLaughlin of Allen, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics; and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp's Gymnastics Academy.
- Caquatto won the women's all-around gold medal, continuing the USA's streak that dates back to the 1987 Pan American Games. She also won the uneven bars gold medal.
- Jay earned the women's vault gold medal.
- Johnson claimed the silver medal on the uneven bars.
AT&T American Cup. In her international debut as a senior level gymnast, Wieber claimed the AT&T American Cup all-around title in Jacksonville, Fla., while teammate Raisman won the bronze. This was Wieber's second American Cup title.
City of Jesolo Trophy. The USA won 20 medals for the juniors and seniors combined at the 2011 City of Jesolo (Italy) Trophy. The United States' success included both the junior and senior team gold medals and a sweep of the junior and senior all-around medals. Team USA's senior gold medalists were Maroney (all-around, vault); Caquatto (uneven bars); Raisman (balance beam, floor exercise). For the juniors, Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics (all-around, balance beam); Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics (vault); and Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA (floor exercise). The other senior women on the team were: Douglas, Amanda Jetter of Milford, Ohio, Cincinnati Gymnastics, Vega and Wieber. The junior team also included Ericha Fassbender of Katy, Texas/Stars Gymnastics; Sarah Finnegan of Lake Latawanna, Mo./GAGE; Madison Kocian of Dallas, Texas/WOGA; and Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes.
Junior Japan. Priessman and Amelia Hundley of Hamilton, Ohio, both with Cincinnati Gymnastics, finished first and second in the all-around, respectively, at the 2011 Japan Junior International in Yokohama, Japan. In the event finals, the duo combined for six medals, including Priessman's gold medals on vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Hundley earned silver medals on vault and floor and bronze on the uneven bars.
The U.S. men won a total of 25 medals in international competition in 2011, as of Dec. 11.
World Championships. For the first time since 2003, the U.S. men were on the World Championships team medals podium with their third-place finish in Tokyo, Japan.
- The members of the men's team were: Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics); Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma); Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics); Alexander Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./University of Oklahoma; John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./U.S. Olympic Training Center; and Chris Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics) (alternate).
- Leyva won the parallel bars gold medal, becoming the first U.S. man to win a World individual event title since 2003 and the first on the parallel bars since Sean Townsend in 2001.
- Orozco, competing in his first World Championships, finished fifth in the men's all-around finals.
- In the floor exercise finals, Legendre finished fifth, his highest at a World Championships, and Dalton was eighth. Horton was seventh in the still rings, and Orozco was eighth for the horizontal bar.
Pan American Games. The U.S. men won a total of five medals, including the team bronze, and two gold, a silver and a bronze in the individual finals in Guadalajara.
- The U.S. men's team, which led at the end of the first subdivision, included Donothan Bailey of Lake Forest, Calif./University of California-Berkeley; Christopher Maestas of Corrales, N.M./University of Illinois; Tyler Mizoguchi of Houston/University of Illinois; Sho Nakamori of Albany, Calif./Champions Academy; Paul Ruggeri III of Manlius, N.Y./University of Illinois; and Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (Ohio State).
- In the event finals, the USA earned four medals: Wynn won the still rings and Maestas claimed the bronze; and Ruggeri took the gold medal on horizontal bar and the silver on parallel bars.
AT&T American Cup. Horton won the men's all-around title, and Dalton finished third in Jacksonville, Fla. This was Horton's third American Cup title.
World Cup and other international events.
- World Cup Paris: Leyva won the silver medal on the horizontal bar.
- USA, Canada, China Tri-Meet: The U.S. Team won the bronze medal, and Mizoguchi won the all-around silver medal and two individual event medals. The USA earned six individual event medals, including two gold and four silver: Mizoguchi -- parallel bars, gold medal, and still rings, silver medal; Andrew Elkind of Cherry Hill, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center) – horizontal bar, gold; Dylan Akers of Houston/Cypress Academy – pommel horse and vault, silver; Jesse Silverstein of Suffern, N.Y/U.S. Gymnastics Development Center II – floor exercise, silver.
- Stella Zakharova Cup: The U.S. Team, made up of Dalton, Legendre, and Naddour, finished second, and Naddour was third in the all-around competition.
- Japan Cup: The U.S. men won the team silver medal in an eight-team field that included Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea. Leyva won all-around bronze medal.
- Puerto Rico Cup: Mizoguchi won the parallel bars gold medal, and Wynn claimed the silver medal on the horizontal bar.
- Mexican Gymnastics Open: Leyva won the all-around gold medal.
The USA won a total of 48 medals in international competition in 2011.
World Championships. Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Capital Rhythmics, was the highest placing gymnast from the Americas in the all-around when she finished in 35th place at the 2011 World Championships in Montpellier, France, which earned her an invitation to the 2012 Olympic Test Event in January. Zetlin has the opportunity to earn a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games in London at the Test Event. The U.S. Group finished in 20th position in the all-around, the second highest placing team from the Americas (a first for the USA).
Pan American Games. The USA enjoyed a very successful Pan American Games, bringing home six medals. Zetlin won the all-around, ball and ribbon gold medals and the silver medal for hoop. In addition, the U.S. Group won the silver medal for five balls and the bronze in three ribbons/two hoops.
Rhythmic Classic. Shelby Kisiel of Houston/North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, dominated the U.S. Rhythmic Classic (formerly the Chicago Cup), held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. She won the all-around and all four event gold medals. Alexis Page of New York, N.Y./Aviator Sports and Recreation, earned the all-around bronze medal. In the junior division, Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, finished first and second, respectively, in the all-around. During the event finals, Sereda claimed all four gold medals, while Kerber finished second in every event.
Amsterdam International Tournament. Anastasia Torba of Orinda, Calif./Allegro Rhythmics, and Olga Pavlenko of Flushing, N.Y./Isadora, won the all-around gold and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2011 Amsterdam International Tournament. Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, won the junior all-around title.
Montreal World Cup and International Tournament. Team USA won 12 medals at the 2011 Moscow World Cup and International Tournament led by Alexis Page, who won the all-around gold medal, as well as four event medals including the gold in clubs. Polina Kozitskiy of Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, won the bronze medal in the all-around and a silver in clubs. In junior competition, Kerber won the gold medal in clubs, silver in hoop and bronze in both ribbon and the all-around. Page, Kozitskiy and Kerber also competed in the team event, capturing the gold medal. In the World Cup event, Zetlin and Kisiel both qualified into the finals in hoop and ribbon respectively.
Junior Tournaments (Pesaro, Italy; Bucharest, Romania; and Torino, Italy). Sereda won the silver medal in ball at the Junior Tournament in Pesaro, Italy, and then, captured the gold medal in ball, the silver in hoop and clubs, and the bronze in ribbon at the Junior Tournament in Bucharest, Romania. In the Junior Tournament in Torino, Italy, Julia Garbuz of Eden Prairie, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, won the all-around silver medal.
Opal Cup Junior Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, won the bronze medal in the all-around and silver medals in hoop and ball.
Baltic Cup. At the 2011 Baltic Cup in Poland, Kisiel earned the bronze medal in hoop, while Sereda won the silver medal in the junior all-around.
The USA won a total of 26 medals in international competition in 2011.
World Championships. Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, won the silver medal for men's double mini-trampoline at the 2011 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Birmingham, England. The men's and women's double mini teams both won bronze medals. At the World Age Group Competition, the U.S. gymnasts captured nine medals, including two gold.
World Cup Series. After capturing the gold medal at the World Cup in Germany, silver medals at World Cup events in Bulgaria and China, and a bronze medal in Russia, Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, took home the silver medal in men's tumbling at the Odense World Cup to clinch the USA's first-ever tumbling World Cup series title.
- Flower Cup: Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Ultra Twisters, and Savannah Vinsant of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, won the men's and women's trampoline titles, respectively.
- Varna World Cup: Ludvigson won the tumbling silver medal.
- St. Petersburg World Cup: Yuliya Brown of Idaho Falls, Idaho/Team Revolution, and Ludvigson won tumbling bronze medals.
- China World Cup: Ludvigson earned the silver medal in men's tumbling.
- Canada Cup: The USA contingent won a total of 15 medals, including White, claiming the senior men's double mini-trampoline title; Kaylah Whaley of Knoxville, Tenn./Premier Athletics, winning the senior women's tumbling title; and Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, and Alicia Powder of Ladera Ranch, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, earning the bronze medal in synchronized trampoline.
- Salzgitter World Cup: Ludvigson won the tumbling title.
- Loule Cup. Hunter Brewster of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, claimed the gold medal in the junior men's trampoline competition in Portugal.
Pan American Games. Earnest and Alaina Williams of Norman, Okla./Acrospirits, garnered the silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The USA won a total of five medals in international competition in 2011.
7th International Tournament Winobranie. Team USA claimed four medals, including two gold. Maren Merwarth and Kathleen Davis both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, claimed the gold medal in the women's pairs age-group competition, and teammates Katarina Partalas and Taylor Mayo, who are also from San Antonio, took the bronze. Juniors Eirian Smith of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, and Jacob Kanavel of San Jose, Calif., who train at West Coast Training Center, won the gold in the mixed pairs final, and Holland Koller, Sophia Handel and Rachel Zorn, all of Annapolis, Md./1st Class Gymnastics, Inc., claimed the bronze in the women's group age-group competition.
Flanders International Cup. Kanavel and Smith won the junior mixed pair title.
- World Gymnaestrada. More than 300 individuals represented the USA at the 2011 World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nine gymnastics clubs from across the United States participated in this year's event, and USA Gymnastics was honored to have the Biron Gymnastics Show Team represented at the FIG Gala. The USA Gymnastics delegation also performed in the Pontaise Olympic Stadium as part of the Pan American Gymnastics Union's act in the Closing Ceremony. USA Gymnastics joined the other participating countries for this performance including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay.