Sixty-two athletes participated in the National TOPs B Team camp at the USA Gymnastic National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site, from Dec. 8-12. Athletes earned their spot on the TOPs National Team by their placement at TOPs National Testing in October.
1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin, Developmental Team Coordinator, led the camps. Liukin was joined by members of the National Coaching Staff to train the athletes and educate their coaches in basic skills, compulsory elite routines and optional skill progressions. Coaches’ lectures were held after every training session.
All the gymnasts received TOPs National Team apparel, which included an exclusively designed leotard and warm-ups provided by GK Elite. GK Elite has sponsored the TOPs Program for many years and USA Gymnastics appreciates their continued support.
Many gymnasts attending this camp received invitation to both Developmental Team and Developmental Invite Camps in 2014.
TOPs is a talent search and educational program for female gymnasts ages 7-10 and their coaches. During the months of June and July, 2,000 gymnasts ages 7-10 were evaluated on physical abilities at the state level. From there, the best 280 8-10 year old athletes were invited to participate in the National TOPs Testing in October, where they were evaluated on the same physical abilities tests and basic gymnastics skills. From National TOPs Testing, 50 athletes were named to the TOPs National Team and invited to participate in the National TOPs Training Camp in December.
There is a long and distinguished list of former TOPs athletes who have won World and Olympic medals including all five members of The Fierce Five — Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber. Others who have gone through the TOPs program include 2008 Olympians Chellsie Memmel, Alicia Sacramone and Samantha Peszek, plus 2004 Olympians Carly Patterson and Courtney Kupets, just to name a few.