INDIANAPOLIS (July 2, 2022) – Reigning U.S. all-round, hoop and clubs champion Evita Griskenas (Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) will headline American contingents for the 2022 Pan American Championships and The World Games USA Gymnastics announced Saturday. She’ll be joined at The World Games July 12-13 in Birmingham, Ala., by Lili Mizuno (Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center), who like Griskenas competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The U.S. will field an 18-person team to take on the Junior and Senior Pan American Championships July 7-10 at Parque Olimpico-Arena Carioca 01 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Pan American Championships are of particular importance this year, as results will impact qualification for the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships set to take place in September in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Seniors Erica Foster (Chanhassen, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic) and Alexandria Kautzman (Simi Valley, Calif./California Rhythms) will tackle the individual competition alongside Griskenas. Foster, a member of the 2021 World Championships team, earned all-around and clubs bronze at the USA Gymnastics Championships last month. Kautzman picked up a top-10 all-around finish at the Tashkent World Cup earlier this year and is the reigning U.S. ball champion.
The 2022 junior all-around champion Jaelyn Chin (Aventura, Fla./Bessonova’s School) and runner up Rin Keys (Porter Ranch, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics) lead U.S. juniors. Both have been active on the international circuit in 2022. They’ll be joined by the event’s reigning all-around, hoop, clubs and ribbon champion, Megan Chu (San Diego, Calif./Ingenious RG), and the 2022 Elite Qualifier junior ribbon champion, Ksenia Pototski (Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora by Matchpoint), who is set to make her international debut.
The Senior National Group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, will also be in action in Brazil. They’ll look to make a mark against their Pan-American rivals following two international top-10 finishes in Europe this season. After securing gold at the 2022 USA Gymnastics Championships in Des Moines this past weekend, the junior group from North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center will represent the U.S. in the junior category. Rosters for both groups are listed alphabetically below.
Senior National Group
Maria Bolkhovitinova (Northfield, Ill.)
Gergana Petkova (Barrington, Ill.)
Katrine Sakhnov (Sammamish, Wash.)
Karolina Saverino (Elk Grove Village, Ill.)
Hana Starkman (Plantation, Fla.)
Emily Wilson (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center Junior Group
Goda Balsys (Northbrook, Ill.)
Annabella Hantov (Chicago, Ill.)
Kristina Lee (Woodridge, Ill.)
Isabelle Novoseletsky (Highland Park, Ill.)
Kalina Trayanov (Deerfield, Ill.)
Griskenas will make a quick turnaround with The World Games’ two-day rhythmic competition slated to begin July 12 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The World Games take place every four years and serve as the equivalent to the Olympic Games for events and disciplines that are not currently included in the Olympic program. This includes rhythmic apparatus competitions, which are not awarded at the Olympic level.
The World Games, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, are expected to draw more than 3,500 participants across 34 unique, multidisciplinary sports between opening ceremonies on July 7 and the event’s conclusion July 17. Gymnastics competitions will span acrobatic, parkour and portions of trampoline and tumbling, in addition to the rhythmic divisions.