All Around Champions from the past three U.S. Classics: Ashley Stott (’08),
Bridget Sloan (’07), Natasha Kelley and Ashley Priess (’06)
© Steve Lange and Renee Posan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 5, 2009 — Tickets for the 2009 CoverGirl Classic, the final qualifying event for women’s gymnastics for the 2009 Visa Championships, on July 25 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, are on sale now. The competition, which will feature some of the USA’s top female gymnasts, begins with the junior division at 1 p.m., followed by the senior division at 7 p.m. The U.S. Challenge, an event that features some of the country’s top young gymnasts, is July 24 and 26 in conjunction with the CoverGirl Classic.

“The CoverGirl Classic is a great opportunity for sports fans to see some of the country’s top women gymnasts as they prepare for the Visa Championships,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Many of the best-known names have won this event, which can be a precursor of success. It’s fun to be in Shawn Johnson’s hometown for this event. We hope everyone will come out and support these gymnasts.”

CoverGirl Classic tickets are now on sale: junior session, $20; senior session, $25; and a daily ticket that includes junior and senior sessions, $35. Also available is an all-session ticket that includes both the U.S. Classic and U.S. Challenge sessions for just $50. U.S. Challenge sessions will be sold onsite. Tickets may be purchased at the Wells Fargo Arena Box Office, All Dahl’s Foods locations, charge by phone at 1.866.55.DAHLS, or online at All tickets are general admission.

The CoverGirl Classic is hosted by USA Gymnastics with local support from Chow’s Gymnastics, the home club of 2008 Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson.

“Success starts in Greater Des Moines, as evident by West Des Moines native Shawn Johnson and her Olympic gold medal,” said Greg Edwards, Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “We’re proud to host an event with such strong Iowa ties in our community.”

Johnson won the CoverGirl Classic as a junior in 2006 and went on to win the U.S. all-around title in 2006 as a junior and in 2007-08 as a senior at the Visa Championships. She has a total of nine U.S. titles including both junior and senior levels. Johnson won the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal, along with three silver (team, all-around, floor exercise) medals. She also recently won the AAU James Sullivan Award as the country’s top amateur athlete. Johnson is currently one of the celebrity dancers on “Dancing with the Stars.”

The 2009 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, are Aug. 12-15 in Dallas, Texas. The U.S. champions for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling are determined at the Visa Championships. Artistic gymnastics will be held at American Airlines Center, and rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling are set for the Dallas Convention Center. The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, held in conjunction with the Visa Championships, will also be at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. For complete information on the Visa Championships, click here.