INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 10, 2009 – The USA’s 2008 Olympic medalists Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., and Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M., 2008 U.S. all-around champion David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill., and 2008 U.S. junior all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich., are among the world’s top gymnasts and rising stars expected to compete in the 2009 Tyson American Cup, scheduled for Feb 21 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. In addition, the event is celebrating its former champions who have also won Olympic gold medals, and the audience is expected to include Olympic all-around champions Nastia Liukin, Paul Hamm and Mary Lou Retton. Several fan activities will add to the excitement and experience at this prestigious international invitational.

"The 2009 Tyson American Cup has a longstanding legacy of showcasing the world’s top gymnasts, and we are excited about celebrating the accomplishments of our former champions," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Fans will see a great preview of some of the gymnasts to watch as the world prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and have the opportunity to recognize some of the great athletes whose accomplishments have made this event what it is today. We encourage fans to come out and support the athletes competing, the former champions, and Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games."

Other 2008 Olympic medalists who have accepted invitations to compete are Olympic all-around bronze-medalist Benoit Caranobe of France and Olympic horizontal bar bronze-medalist Fabian Hambuechen of Germany. In addition to Caranobe, Hambuechen, Hagerty and Sloan, the other 2008 Olympians in the field are: Great Britain’s Rebecca Downie, Japan’s Koko Tsurumi, Puerto Rico’s Luis Rivera Rivera, Romania’s Adrian Bucur, Russia’s Yury Ryazanov and Venezuela’s Jessica Lopez. Five of the 2008 Olympians were all-around finalists in Beijing: men – Caranobe, Hambuechen and Rivera; and women – Downie and Tsurumi.

The current field for the 2009 Tyson American Cup is listed below.

Brittany Rogers, Canada
Youna Dufournet, France
Kim Bui, Germany
Rebecca Downie, Great Britain
Koko Tsurumi, Japan
Amelia Racea, Romania
Kristina Goryunova, Russia
Bridget Sloan, USA
Jordyn Wieber, USA

Jessica Lopez, Venezuela

Benoit Caranobe, France
Fabian Hambuechen, Germany
Koji Uematsu, Japan
Luis Rivera Rivera, Puerto Rico
Adrian Bucur, Romania
Yury Ryazanov, Russia
Joseph Hagerty, USA
David Sender, USA

On sale now, ticket prices range from $19.50-$125 and are subject to applicable fees and availability. Tickets may be purchased charge by phone at 312-559-1212 or 1-888-SEARSTIX; online at; at all Ticketmaster outlets; at the Sears Centre Arena Box Office; or through participating area gymnastics clubs. Visa is the preferred method of payment.

For those attending the Tyson American Cup, a number of activities will be available to add to the experience. One is the " Celebration of Champions," which recognizes the event’s former champions who have also won Olympic gold medals. On Saturday, fans can participate in the Tyson Fitness Challenge Zone, get autographs and listen to the in-house radio show, WGYM.

On Friday, Feb. 20, Tyson American Cup ticket holders may also attend a USA-Japan women’s friendly dual meet at the Sears Centre Arena. The dual meet begins at 8 p.m. CT, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. The dual meet participants are not gymnasts competing in the Tyson American Cup.

The 2009 Tyson American Cup on Feb. 21 features an all-around format and will be televised live on NBC Sports at 4 p.m. ET.

Some of the sport’s biggest names are former Tyson American Cup all-around gold medalists, including: men – Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women – Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakharova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania).

Past sites for this event include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008); 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); Philadelphia (2006); and Jacksonville, Fla. (2007).

About Sears Centre Arena
Sears Centre Arena is an 11,200 seat multi purpose family entertainment, cultural, and sports arena located in Hoffman Estates’ Prairie Stone Business Park. Sears Centre Arena has hosted international events in the past such as the FIVB World League match up between Olympic Gold Medalist USA Men’s Volleyball and Bulgaria. Coming events at the Sears Centre Arena include the Eagles concert – Long Road Out of Eden Tour, Chris Tomlin concert – Hello Love Tour, and more! For more information regarding Sears Centre Arena and coming events, please visit the arena’s new website at

About World Sport Chicago
World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago’s international outreach through and for sport and youth. Focused on promoting the development of recreational and competitive sport to the area’s youth, WSC works closely with Chicago 2016 and Chicago’ 2016’s Athlete Advisory Counsel (AAC) to provide sport expertise and athlete insight to the execution of these sporting events. WSC intends to aid Chicago in developing a sustainable, international sporting legacy as a real agent of social change for the city. William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is chairman of the board and Scott Myers serves as the executive director.

About Tyson Foods, Inc
Tyson Foods, Inc., 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 production 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 and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 90 countries. The company has approximately 107,000 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.