INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Jan. 16, 2007 – Fourteen countries will send gymnasts to compete at the 2007 Tyson American Cup, one of the world’s most prestigious gymnastics competitions, on March 3 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The participating countries accounted for 31 medals at the recent World Championships.
In addition to China and the United States, the Tyson American Cup field includes world-class gymnasts from Australia, Belarus, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The USA has already named two athletes to its team: Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., who won three silver medals (all-around, floor exercise and team competition) at the 2006 World Championships, the most by a U.S. athlete; and Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., the reigning U.S. all-around champion and the world pommel horse bronze medalist, the USA’s first medal in that event since 1979. The international athletes competing in the event and the balance of the U.S. Team will be named at a later date.
On sale now, tickets are $50, $35 and $19.50 and are subject to applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster and its outlets; by phone at (904) 353-3309; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena box office; or through participating gymnastics clubs in the Jacksonville area.
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Some of the sport’s biggest names are former American Cup all-around gold medalists, including: men — Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women — Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania). At last year’s event, Americans Jonathan Horton of Houston and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, each earned the title of 2006 American Cup champion.
The city of Jacksonville is no stranger to the sport of gymnastics. The old Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena hosted the 1985 U.S. Championships and the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials.
The American Cup was first held in 1976. Past sites include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004); 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); and Philadelphia (2006).
In addition to its sponsorship of the Tyson American Cup, Tyson is powering gymnasts by providing high-quality chicken, beef and pork to the USA Gymnastics National Training Center in Huntsville, Texas. Tyson’s protein-filled products help these talented athletes to develop and maintain the strength and endurance they need to perform at elite events, such as the Tyson American Cup and the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing.
About JEDC Sports & Entertainment
The JEDC Sports & Entertainment office enhances the region”s economy by attracting special events and sports organizations to the First Coast. The sports office helps develop and coordinate sporting and entertainment events and actively promotes the facilities owned by the City of Jacksonville and serves as an in-house event production, marketing and advertising agency for regional sporting events, bringing millions of dollars to the region each year. For more information, please visit www.jaxdevelopment.org".
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. [NYSE: TSN], founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the "Powered by TysonTM" strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries.
The company has approximately 110,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
About USA Gymnastics
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men”s and women”s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.