INDIANAPOLIS (February 21, 2023) – Freedom Hall will welcome more than 100 of the country’s best young gymnasts February 24-25 in Louisville, Kentucky, as aspiring superstars take the next step on their journeys at the 2023 Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup. Both events are held in conjunction with USA Gymnastics’ Winter Cup.
Nastia Liukin Cup
The 14th-annual Nastia Liukin Cup (NLC) will serve as a platform for the some of the top women’s Level 10 gymnasts in the country to showcase their skills on the national stage. Held Friday, February 24 at 7 p.m. ET, it will welcome a field of 20 junior and 20 senior gymnasts, including 2022 all-around Nastia Liukin Cup junior champion Kamila Pawlak (Melissa, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics) and senior champion Jamison Sears (Yorktown, Va./World Class Gymnastics). In total, 12 returning competitors have 17 NLC appearances between them.
Others to watch include 2021 Junior Pan American Games team and floor exercise gold medalist Kailin Chio (Las Vegas, Nev./Gymcats Gymnastics) and Kyra DiCello (Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics), sister of 2021 World bronze medalist and Florida Gator standout Kayla DiCello.
Each NLC gymnast qualified to the competition through their performances in the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. Invitationals began in early January and the final qualifiers punched their tickets this past weekend.
Elite Team Cup
Slated for Saturday, February 25 at 6 p.m. ET, the 2023 Elite Team Cup (ETC) is a regional showdown featuring nine teams and the best junior elite male gymnasts in the country. Notable alumni include Olympians Brody Malone and Shane Wiskus and reigning NCAA all-around champion Paul Juda.
The 2023 edition of Elite Team Cup is shaping up for tight competition in both the team and all-around standings. After a close battle that saw them edge perennial powerhouse Region 3 in last year’s Elite Team Cup, gymnasts from Region 1, spanning Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, will look repeat as team champions.
Top athletes returning to the Elite Team Cup include 2022 U.S. OOFOS Gymnastics Championships all-around, parallel bars and horizontal bar title holder Kai Uemura (Chicago, Ill./Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics/Region 5) and 2022 Elite Team Cup all-around bronze medalist Kiran Mandava (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics/Region 3). Maxwell Odden (Scottsdale, Ariz./North Valley Gymnassics/Region 1) is a top returnee from the Region 1 championship team from 2022.
Among newcomers, Preston Ngai (Elk Grove, Calif./Elevate Gymnastics/Region 1) will make his Elite Team Cup debut after earning three medals in junior competition at the 2022 U.S. OOFOS Gymnastics Championships.
In addition to the team champion, the Elite team Cup all-around winner will be crowned on Saturday, while the top seven athletes per event will earn the chance to compete for junior apparatus titles Sunday alongside Winter Cup’s senior men.
The complete roster of Elite Team Cup participants is listed by region here. Six gymnasts per region will compete on each team. Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers are listed alphabetically at NastiaLiukinCup.com.