COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sports fans in the metropolitan Colorado Springs, Colo., area will have the opportunity to see the next generation of stars for U.S. men’s gymnastics when the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) holds the 2005 World Gymnastics Championships Team Selection Competition on Oct. 14 and 16 at 1 p.m. Todd Thornton of Pearland, Texas, the all-around champion at the 2005 Visa Championships, heads the list of invitees for the event. The complete field for the World Championships Team Selection Competition will be released in the near future.

Thornton, who competes for Team Chevron, automatically qualified for the World Championships Team when he won the 2005 Visa Championships. The two-day competition is the basis of selection for the remainder of the men’s team for the 2005 World Championships, Nov. 21-27 in Melbourne, Australia. Competition on both days starts at 1 p.m., and admission is free.
The format for this year’s World Championships features all-around and individual event competition. Because of the emphasis on individuals, the Men’s Selection Committee will use the results of the two-day meet to name the remaining five members of the men’s team for the World Championships, as well as designate which athletes will compete in which events. The 2005 U.S. Men’s World Championships Team will be announced on Oct. 17.
"This year, the World Championships focuses on individual events and the all-around, which means the six-man team needs a fine balance between event specialists and all-around gymnasts," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Finding the right mix of expertise is critical for giving the United States its best chance at winning medals on each apparatus, as well as in the all-around."
"Colorado Springs residents have the first chance to see the USA’s next crop of stars at this competition, which basically starts the men’s road to Beijing. Gymnastics is great family entertainment, and these two days will definitely deliver a lot of excitement and great gymnastics."