HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Oct. 5, 2015 – More than 300 gymnasts were at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, an official U.S. Olympic Training Site, in Huntsville, Texas, this past weekend, Oct. 2-4. The athletes represented the top 100 in their age groups 8-10 years in TOPs State Testing held during June, July and August. Athletes traveled from 44 states, including Hawaii to participate. The gymnasts were tested in both physical abilities and skill testing for their age groups.
The athlete’s scores will be weighted by age and then ranked to earn a spot on our TOPs A National Team and TOPs B team. The top 50 gymnasts will make the TOPs A National team, and the next 60 gymnasts will be named to the TOPs B team. These gymnasts along with the coaches will be back at the training center in early December for the two camps.
The TOPs program (Talent Opportunity Program) is designed to seek out talent at an early age and help guide the coaches through the USA Gymnastics athlete pipeline to become Hopes and elite gymnasts with the aspirations of making the National Team. The program is under the direction of 1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin, director of elite developmental athletes.
7-year-olds tested locally within their states on physical abilities only. The top 50 gymnasts were named to our 2015 TOPs Diamond Team.
Gymnasts participated in the two-day testing and their parents were invited to a parents meeting to meet with Liukin, Kim Riley, Managing Director of Athlete Programs, and Tami Davis, who has been with the TOPs program since it beginning 23 years ago. At the end of testing, each athlete was presented a certificate of achievement and a TOPs t-shirt with this year’s theme: TOPs – Above and Beyond.