INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 31, 2020 – After a four-year break, the GK U.S. Classic will return to Hartford, Conn., and the XL Center on May 23. The event was last in Hartford, Conn., in 2016 as part of the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games. The GK U.S. Classic features athletes competing on the junior and senior levels and is the last opportunity for female gymnasts to qualify for the U.S. Championships, the national championships for men’s and women’s gymnastics. Gymnasts who have already qualified to nationals use the GK U.S. Classic as a final tune-up for the U.S. Championships (June 4-7, Fort Worth, Texas). In addition, the GK Hopes Championships, which features young, aspiring female gymnasts who are just below the elite level, is slated for Friday, May 22.
“In the Olympic year, the GK U.S. Classic takes on greater importance,” said Annie Heffernon, vice president for women’s gymnastics. “It is a great opportunity for fans to see many of the gymnasts who have their sights on 2020 and the Olympic Games, especially the juniors who will turn 16 in 2020, in the lead up to the U.S. Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.”
“During the lead up to Tokyo, we are honored to support our country’s elite junior and senior athletes,” added Girisha Chandraraj, chief executive officer, GK – Elite Sportswear. “2020 should be an incredible year for our sport, and we are thrilled to partner with USA Gymnastics to spotlight some our nation’s best gymnasts when they compete in the GK U.S. Classic.”
The competition schedule, which is subject to change, is: GK U.S. Classic – May 23 at 1 p.m. ET for juniors and 6:30 p.m. ET for seniors; and GK Hopes Championships, May 22 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Set for Friday, May 22, the GK Hopes Championships is the culmination of the Hopes season. The GK Hopes Championships has two age groups, 10-11 year-olds and 12-13 year-olds. The top 18 from each age group, assuming each athlete achieves a minimum qualifying score, advance to the GK Hopes Championships from the Hopes Classic, taking place April 24, 2020.
All session tickets for the GK U.S. Classic and the GK Hopes Championships will go on sale February 11 to the general public.
All-session ticket packages range in price from $79-$199, plus applicable fees, and prices vary depending on the seat location. The all-session ticket includes both the junior and senior sessions for the GK U.S. Classic on May 23, as well as the GK Hopes Championships on May 22. Tickets may be purchased at Sunwave Gas + Power Ticket Office at the XL Center or XLCenter.com. For information on club sales or group tickets, call XL Center Group Sales at (860) 548-2000. Discounted tickets are available through local gymnastics clubs that are participating in the club ticket sales program.
Past senior Classic all-around champions include Simone Biles, 2018-19, 2014-15; Olivia Courtney, 2009; Mattie Larson, 2010; Ashley Priess, 2006; Aly Raisman, 2016, 2011-12; Kyla Ross, 2013; Alyona Shchennikova, 2017; Bridget Sloan, 2007; and Ashley Stott, 2008. Previous sites include Louisville, Ky., 2019; Columbus, Ohio, 2018; Hoffman Estates, 2017, 2013-15; Hartford, Conn., 2016; Chicago, 2010-12; Des Moines, Iowa, 2009; Houston, 2008; Battle Creek, Mich., 2007; Kansas City, Mo., 2006; Virginia Beach, Va., 2005; and Ontario, Calif., 2004.
- GK Gymnastics. GK Gymnastics, an Elite Sportswear brand committed to American-made excellence and innovation, is the global leader in the gymnastics apparel industry and is recognized around the world for superior variety, quality, fit and service. GK currently offers a wide variety of women’s and men’s gymnastics apparel, including signature collections designed by 2016 Olympians Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez. In addition to being distributed worldwide, GK products have been worn by international Olympians and World champions for over 35 years and is proud to be the official U.S. National Team competition and training apparel sponsor for USA Gymnastics. For more information about GK and Elite Sportswear, visit www.gkelite.com.
- XL Center. The XL Center is Connecticut’s premier destination for sports & entertainment. The 16,000+ seat downtown arena is home to the eleventh-time National Champion UConn Women’s Basketball team and the four-time National Champion UConn Men’s Basketball team. Led by Hall of Fame basketball Head Coach Geno Auriemma and Dan Hurley, the Men’s & Women’s basketball programs have established themselves as national powerhouses. The XL Center is also home to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the primary developmental affiliate of the New York Rangers.
- USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. Former gymnast and business executive Li Li Leung is the new president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, visit usagym.org.