Indianapolis -The world’s top Sports Acrobatics gymnasts descend on Jacksonville, Fla. in July for the inaugural Freedom Cup, to be held July 30-Aug. 3 at the Prime Osborn III Convention Center.
Without another Sports Acrobatics World Championship until mid-2004, the 2003 Freedom Cup presents gymnasts with the opportunity to gain valuable international experience in a growing competitive discipline.
“The Sports Acro world needed an event like the Freedom Cup to provide top athletes with a competitive event in non-World Championships years,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi. “We’re proud to bring the newest USA Gymnastics discipline to Jacksonville, and to showcase on American soil our world champions and world medalists in this new sport.”
Expected to represent the United States are reigning Mixed Pair World Champions Arthur Davis and Shenea Booth of Empire Acrogymnastics Sports in Riverside, Calif. The pair most recently won a silver medal at the International Mixed Pairs Competition in Paris-Bercy in March. Also from Empire, Nicolette Bohnert and Jessica Gardner are U.S. contenders in the Women’s Pair discipline. The duo finished in fifth place at the 2002 World Championships.
The U.S. Freedom Cup squad will be selected during the Sports Acro Team Trials at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Milwaukee, Wis., June 19-22. More than 80 Elite, Level 10, and Level 9 athletes have been invited to attend the Team Trials and vie for assignments to the Freedom Cup.
Top nations expecting to compete include Great Britain, France, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Sports Acrobatics combines the beauty of dance and with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. Events are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. Sports Acrobatics gymnasts perform routines on the same floor used in artistic gymnastics. Each pair or group performs a Balance, Tempo and Combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the Balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and dynamic flight elements define the Tempo exercise. Finally, the Combined exercise unites elements of Balance and Tempo.
Freedom Cup events include Men’s Pair, Women’s Pair, Mixed Pair, Women’s Group and Men’s Group. Each discipline will be contested at the 11-16 compulsory, 12-18 optional, and senior (14+) age groups.
Jacksonville will also host the Sports Acrobatics U.S. National Championships, Aug. 3-7. For more information on Sports Acrobatics, visit
Tickets for the Freedom Cup can be purchased starting the week of June 9 through or by calling 904-353-3309.