© John Cheng


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Dec. 11, 2009 – Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, the 2009 world all-around silver medalist and uneven bars bronze medalist; Jonathan Horton of Houston, 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist and 2009 U.S. all-around champion; and Tim McNeill of Falls Church, Va., 2009 U.S. all-around silver-medalist and seventh in the all-around at the 2009 World Championships, have accepted invitations to compete in the 2010 Tyson American Cup, March 6, at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. Gymnasts from Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Romania and Russia will also compete in the Tyson American Cup, one of the most prestigious international invitationals.

The field will feature six international and two U.S. athletes for both men and women in contention for the coveted all-around titles. 2009 world all-around champion Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., did not accept the invitation to compete because she is taking time off after competing in both 2008 and 2009 and will return to competition later in 2010. The final U.S. woman and the international gymnasts will be announced early next year.

"We have a great field coming together for the Tyson American Cup next year,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “This event promises to showcase some of our top athletes against others from the top gymnastics countries in the world. The Tyson American Cup is an important event for athletes such as Rebecca, Tim and Jonathan as they maintain the rich tradition of gymnastics legends who have participated in the meet.”

About the athletes

Bross, who trains at WOGA, claimed two medals at her first World Championships: the silver medal in the all-around, and the bronze medal for the uneven bars. At the 2009 Visa Championships, she was second in the floor exercise and third in the all-around. In 2008, she won the junior all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles at the Pacific Rim Championships presented by Venus Gillette, as well as helped the USA win the team gold medal. As a junior, Bross was a member of the gold-medal team and won the floor exercise title, in addition to a silver medal in the all-around, at the 2007 Pan American Games. At the 2007 Visa Championships, she won the junior all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise titles and the balance beam silver medal.

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Horton helped the U.S. men win the team bronze medal and went on to earn the horizontal bar silver medal. A two-time Tyson American Cup champion (2006-07), he is the reigning U.S. all-around champion. At the 2009 Visa Championships, he won the all-around and still rings titles; tied for first on the horizontal bar; and was second in the floor exercise. Horton was a member of the 2006, 2007 and 2009 World Championships Teams, and finished fourth in the all-around in 2007. In addition to being named USA Gymnastics’ Men’s Athlete of the Year in 2008, he won the 2008 NCAA Nissen-Emery Award, given to the top male senior gymnast. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he was a three-time captain for OU’s gymnastics team. Horton’s collegiate accomplishments include: 2006 NCAA all-around champion; Oklahoma records for career All-America honors (18) and career NCAA individual titles (six); and three NCAA team titles (2005-06, 2008) and a second place team finish in 2007. He currently is training at Cypress Academy.

McNeill, who recently graduated from the University of California – Berkeley, finished seventh in the all-around at the 2009 World Championships, his first Worlds. He also qualified for the individual event finals for pommel horse. At the 2009 Visa Championships, McNeill was second in the all-around, as well as wining the parallel bars and a bronze medal on pommel horse. He was a member of Cal’s gymnastics team from 2005-08 and won five career NCAA titles, the most in the school’s history. He won the pommel horse crown in 2006-08 and parallel bars in 2007-08. He currently trains at Cal.

As in the past, each of the U.S. athletes will demonstrate competition readiness prior to the event.

About the event
On sale now, ticket prices for the event range from $35-125. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 800-745-3000; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; through participating gym clubs; or at the DCU Center Ticket Office. Visa is the preferred method of payment.

The Massachusetts Sports Partnership, Destination Worcester, and the SMG-managed DCU Center are working cooperatively to plan and host the 2010 Tyson American Cup.

The USA’s Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich., and Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen won the all-around titles at the 2009 Tyson American Cup. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport’s best-known names, including Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. The gymnasts competing in 2010 will be announced at a later date.

This will be the first time the prestigious Tyson American Cup has been held in Massachusetts. Past sites for the American Cup include: New York City; Ft. Worth, Texas; Indianapolis, Ind.; Fairfax, Va.; Orlando, Fla.; Seattle, Wash.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Uniondale, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The Nastia Liukin Cup, a competitive opportunity for top Junior Olympic female gymnasts, will be held on March 5 in conjunction with the Tyson American Cup. The one-night event features gymnasts from 15 invitationals that comprise the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. Tickets for the event are available with the purchase of a Tyson American Cup ticket. Proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup will go into the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund within the National Gymnastics Foundation.

About DCU Center
A multi-purpose arena and convention center uniquely designed to accommodate the needs of any size group from 15 to 15,000, the DCU Center is owned by the City of Worcester and managed by SMG, the world’s leading private management and developing firm for public assembly facilities. Headquartered in Philadelphia, SMG provides management services to over 200 public assembly facilities internationally and also offers food and beverage operations through SAVOR… Catering by SMG. For more information, please visit www.dcucenter.com.

About Destination Worcester
Destination Worcester is a destination marketing organization whose primary focus is on selling the City of Worcester as a destination to meeting and convention planners, and event and sports organizers. Acting as a single point of contact, Destination Worcester provides enhanced communications and a streamlined process for booking events in Worcester.

About the Massachusetts Sports Partnership
The Massachusetts Sports Partnership (MSP) serves as the official sports commission for the Commonwealth. Founded in 1992, MSP is a private, not-for-profit organization which works to attract and support world class sporting events and meetings throughout the Massachusetts.

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.