INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 20, 2019 – The United States is playing host to the Senior Pan American Championships for men’s and women’s gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline that serves as the final qualifying event for the 2020 Olympic Games for North, Central and South America, which is a first both as a combined event staged in the USA and as an Olympic qualifier. Utah Valley has been chosen as the site for Senior Pan Am Championships, May 7-10.
“We are excited to bring the last Olympic gymnastics qualification event for the Americas to fans in the United States and the state of Utah,” said Li Li Leung, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. “We hope residents of Utah and the surrounding area will come to watch these talented gymnasts, who are hoping to earn a berth to Tokyo for their countries and fulfill their dreams.”
The Senior Pan American Championships is held annually for each discipline, except for the Pan American Games year. Typically held separately, athletes from North, Central and South America vie for Pan Am titles and to qualify for the Pan American Games in the year prior to the Games. This is the first time the Senior Pan American Championships is part of the Olympic qualification process. Across all four disciplines, more than 300 gymnasts from an estimated 25 countries are expected to participate and to seek Olympic berths in men’s and women’s gymnastics, two each; rhythmic gymnastics, one individual and one group; and men’s and women’s trampoline, one each if the Americas have not already qualified a country. The USA will know which disciplines it has the opportunity to try for another Olympic spot by mid-April.
The UCCU Center at Utah Valley University is the venue for men’s and women’s gymnastics, and the Peaks Ice Arena, an official venue for Salt Lake City’s 2002 Olympic Winter Games, will hold the competition for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. The UCCU Center is in Orem, and Peaks Ice Arena is based in Provo. Explore Utah Valley and the Utah Sports Commission are local partners for the championships.
“We are excited for this opportunity to partner with USA Gymnastics to welcome North, Central and South America’s top gymnasts to compete in Utah Valley for the Pan American Gymnastics Championships,” said Joel Racker, president and CEO of Explore Utah Valley. “It is an honor to host the athletes and fans of the Pan American Gymnastics Union, and our community is fortunate to be able to witness this level of gymnastics competition in our own back yard.”
“Utah has a long-standing history of hosting gymnastics events and a fan base here that will support this premier event,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “We are thrilled to welcome this Olympic-qualifying event to Utah.”
The Olympic qualifiers for men’s, women’s and rhythmic gymnastics will be announced on May 9, with trampoline’s determined on May 10. For men’s and women’s gymnastics, the top two gymnasts for both men and women in the all-around rankings, with a max of one per country, will qualify for spots for their countries in the all-around. In rhythmic gymnastics, the highest-placed gymnast in the all-around will secure a berth to the Games for herself, and in group rhythmic, the highest-ranked group in the qualification round that has not yet qualified through the World Championships will earn a spot for the respective country to the Olympics. For trampoline, the highest ranked male and female in the finals will qualify a spot for their countries provided no one from the continent has already qualified. For a more complete overview of information on the Olympic qualification process, click here.
A more detailed schedule, as well as ticket information, will be provided after the first of the year. The tentative daily schedule is: May 7 – qualifications for men’s gymnastics; May 8 – qualifications for women’s gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and men’s trampoline; May 9 – finals for men’s, women’s and rhythmic all-around, and qualifications for women’s trampoline; and May 10 – finals for men’s, women’s and rhythmic individual events, and men’s and women’s trampoline.
The teams and participating countries will be announced closer to the event. The Senior Pan American Championships are a championship event of the Pan American Gymnastics Union.