INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 17, 2008 – The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has notified USA Gymnastics that the USA was awarded a berth in men’s trampoline for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, because the International Olympic Committee’s Tripartite Commission determined no National Olympic Committee was eligible to use trampoline’s tripartite slot and the USA was first on the reserve list. The USA will now send athletes to the Olympic Games in men’s and women’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s trampoline.
“Qualifying both a man and a woman in trampoline for the 2008 Olympics has been an important goal,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The hard work and dedication of our athletes and coaches is paying off, and we look forward to sending our top male and female trampolinists to Beijing.”
The USA’s Chris Estrada finished 24th in men’s trampoline at the 2007 World Championships, which put the USA as the number one on the reserve list for Olympic selection if the spot was not utilized. Tripartite spots, awarded by the IOC Tripartite Commission, are intended to give additional representation for countries with small delegations or that have not yet qualified for the Olympic Games. The USA earned an automatic berth in women’s trampoline via their finish at the 2007 World Championships.
The athletes who will represent the USA in trampoline at the Olympics will be the first-ranked male and female gymnasts based on the Olympic Selection Points System. Points are earned based on performances at the four selection events, and only three of the four competitions count toward the final ranking, with the lowest points being dropped. The four selection events are: the Grenzland Cup, March 14-15 in Aachen, Germany; the U.S. Elite Challenge, April 18-19; the Visa Championships, May 22-24; and a final selection event held in conjunction with the U.S. Junior Olympic Championships, June 30. To compete in the final selection event, gymnasts must be ranked in the top eight of the Olympic Selection Points System after three events or a member of the senior national trampoline team who has received points at a minimum of two prior qualifying events. To make the Olympic Team, a gymnast must compete in the final selection event and be at least 18 years old in the 2008 calendar year.