INDIANAPOLIS – Six positions on the 2005 Men’s U.S. National Team are up for grabs when the nation’s top gymnasts gather in Las Vegas for the 2005 Men’s Winter Cup Challenge, Feb. 4-5 at the Las Vegas Sports Center Arena.
“The Men’s Winter Cup Challenge is our chance to evaluate the programs of the nation’s best gymnasts as they vie for spots on the U.S. National Team,” said Ron Galimore, USA Gymnastics Men’s Program Senior Director. “The Winter Cup is the first competition of the year for the top athletes and up-and-comers to show their physical preparedness, and to demonstrate their desire to represent the United States in 2005. It’s a highly competitive, elite caliber event.”
Top athletes expected to compete include Olympic silver medalists Jason Gatson and Brett McClure, former World Champion Sean Townsend, and Pan American silver medalist David Durante, along with members of the Sr. and Jr. National Teams plus NCAA standouts.
Six gymnasts will be named to the 2005 U.S. National Team based on performances in Friday’s all-around and Saturday’s event finals sessions, and will become eligible to represent the United States in international competitions leading up to the Visa Championships, Aug. 11-13 in Indianapolis.
The Winter Cup Challenge also serves as a good test for male athletes hoping to represent the United States at the 2005 American Cup, a FIG World Cup competition, Feb. 26 in New York , and the 2005 Individual Event World Championships in Melbourne , Australia in November.
The men’s program is riding high following one of the USA ‘s most successful seasons. The men’s U.S. Olympic Team earned team silver – the first team medal in a non-boycotted Olympic Games since 1932. Paul Hamm won the United States ‘ first-ever men’s all-around gold medal at the Olympic Games, plus a silver medal on his specialty, the high bar.
Following is the Winter Cup schedule of events:
Friday, Feb. 4 All-Around session I competition 1-5:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 4 All-Around session II competition 5:30-10 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 5 Individual Event Finals 6:30-10 p.m.
The Sports Center is located at 121 E. Sunset in Las Vegas . Tickets are available at the Sports Center beginning Thursday, Feb. 3. The Men’s Winter Cup Challenge is held in conjunction with the Blackjack Men’s Championships, one of the nation’s largest men’s gymnastics invitationals.
Media seeking credentials for the Men’s Winter Cup Challenge should contact Brian Eaton by Feb. 2. Athlete bios, Winter Cup details and a full entry list are available on-line at www.usa-gymnastics.org.