INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 10, 2012 – The Nastia Liukin Cup Series will kick off its third consecutive year this weekend on Jan. 13. The invitational meets in the Series will determine the gymnasts who will compete in the 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup in New York City's legendary Madison Square Garden on March 2, 2012, the night before the 2012 AT&T American Cup, one of the world's most prestigious international invitationals and an International Gymnastics Federation's World Cup event.
"The entire Series and the Cup, along with Nastia's own contribution, provides a unique and particularly special experience for everyone involved," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "The Nastia Liukin Cup is a great showcase and fun opportunity for our up-and-coming gymnasts."
"My continued partnership with USA Gymnastics has given me the opportunity to connect with young girls all over the country," said Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion who has five Olympic and nine World medals to her credit, "and hopefully inspire them to continue chasing their gymnastics dreams."
The Nastia Liukin Cup Series features top gymnastics invitational meets held throughout the United States from mid-January through late February 2012. A designated number of gymnasts from each invitational will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup, held in conjunction with the AT&T American Cup.
The invitational meets included in the 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup Series are:
- CGA Parents Club Coaches Spectacular, Covington, Ky., Jan. 13-15
- Lady Luck Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 20-22
- The Atlanta Crown Invitational, Duluth, Ga., Jan. 20-22
- Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational, Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 20-22
- San Diego Classic, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 20-22
- Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Jan. 27-29
- Parkettes Invitational, Allentown, Pa., Jan. 27-29
- Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3-5
- The Long Beach Open, Long Beach, Calif., Feb. 3-5
- The 38th Annual Fiesta Bowl, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 3-5
- Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 10-12
- IGI Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 10-12
- Glider Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 11-12
- The Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-18
- Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 17-19
- Presidential Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 17-19
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 17-19
- Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 17-19
The 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup will be televised live on Universal Sports. This year's promotional efforts will range from social media to grassroots initiatives, including gym club visits, coupons, discounts and a sweepstakes. For more information, go to NastiaLiukinCup.com.
Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the AT&T American Cup and recognition during the event; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.
Portions of the proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund in partnership with the National Gymnastics Foundation.
Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin's total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin's Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin is just the third U.S. woman to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including "Gossip Girl," "Make It or Break it," and the feature film, "Stick It." She was also chosen as one of 2009's most influential women by MSN Lifestyle. Liukin recently returned to training with an eye on the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold, she was added to the 2011-12 Women's National Team in November 2011.
AT&T American Cup. The 2011 AT&T American Cup, an FIG World Cup event, is one of the most prestigious international invitational events and features an all-around format. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport's best-known names, including Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. For more information, go to attamericancup.com.