JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – 2006 all-around world silver-medalist Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla., and 2006 pommel horse bronze-medalist Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., have accepted invitations to represent the United States in the 2007 Tyson American Cup, one of the world’s most prestigious gymnastics events, on March 3 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
"Jana and Alex are the USA’s top medal winners from the recent 2006 World Championships and two important members of the current group of athletes preparing for the Beijing Olympic Games," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "These two will lead the USA’s team of talented men and women against the world’s top gymnasts at the 2007 Tyson American Cup."
Bieger had a very successful October. At the 2006 World Championships, she won more medals than any other U.S. gymnast. In addition to her all-around medal, Bieger also took the silver in the floor exercise and team. One week later, she won the gold medal in both the uneven bars and floor exercise at the 2006 DTB-Pokal World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. She is coached by her mother, Andrea, who was a three-time Olympian for West Germany. Her gym is Bieger International Gymnastics. Bieger, who is home-schooled, is a senior in high school.
Artemev, who is a member of Team Chevron, won the USA’s first pommel horse world medal since Kurt Thomas in 1979. His bronze-medal performance was the best finish for the U.S. men at the 2006 World Championships. At the 2006 Visa Championships, Artemev won the all-around title, as well as the pommel horse and parallel bars titles. At the 2005 American Cup, he won the pommel horse title and was second in the floor exercise. Artemev, who trains at 5280 Gymnastics, is coached by his father, Vladimir, who is a former member of the Soviet national gymnastics team.
The 2007 Tyson American Cup, which features an all-around competition, begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are on sale now for $50, $35 and $19.50 and 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. The competition on March 3 will be televised live on NBC Sports at 1 p.m. ET.
The old Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena was the site for the 1985 U.S. Championships and the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials.
The international gymnasts, representing the top gymnastics countries in the world, will be announced in January. The rest of the U.S. squad will also be determined closer to the event.
The list of former American Cup all-around gold medalists includes many of the best-known and loved names in gymnastics: 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). In 2005, the American Cup was a World Cup event and its format named individual event champions; the USA’s Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel, Nastia Liukin and Artemev won gold medals.
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.
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, Arkansas, 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.