Olympic and World Champion Gymnasts Scheduled to compete for $70,000 in prize money

Indianapolis – The Olympic momentum shifts to Summer Games this weekend in Orlando as rising U.S. gymnastics stars challenge the world’s best for the prestigious title of Visa American Cup Champion, Saturday, March 2, at 11:30 a.m. at Orlando’s T.D. Waterhouse Centre. The competition will be televised live on NBC from 1-3 p.m., and top medal hopefuls for the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Games will emerge as victors.

“As the focus of the world turns from Salt Lake back to Summer Olympic sports, Orlando has a unique chance to preview the emerging names for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi.
The 2002 Visa American Cup field is one of the most impressive ever established, with over forty Olympic and World Championship medals earned among the group. Headlining the roster is four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Alexei Nemov (RUS) along with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Oksana Chusovitina (UZB), a 26-year-old mother. A strong U.S. team will threaten the international field, including 2000 Olympians and reigning national champions Sean Townsend and Tasha Schwikert, who led their teams to an unprecedented silver medal and a bronze medal, respectively, at the 2001 World Championships. Townsend also claimed the parallel bars gold medal.
Following is the complete roster of U.S. and international competitors:


Sean Townsend (USA)- 2001 World Championships Gold and Silver Medalist, 2000 Olympian
Paul Hamm (USA)- 2001 World Championships Silver Medalist, 2000 Olympian
Alexei Nemov (RUS)- 2000 Olympic Games All-Around Gold Medalist, twelve total Olympic medals earned throughout career (four gold)
Jordan Jovtchev (BUL)- 2000 Olympic Games Double Bronze Medalist, 2001 World Championships Double Gold Medalist and All-Around Bronze Medalist
Alexander Beresh (UKR)- 2000 Olympic Games All-Around Bronze Medalist, 2001 World Championships Silver and Bronze Medalist
Eric Lopez (CUB)- 2001 World Championships Silver Medalist, Three-time Pan American Games All-Around Champion, 2000 Visa American Cup Champion
Yann Cucherat (FRA)- 2001 World Championships and 2000 Olympic Games Team Member
Hiroyuki Tomita (JPN)- 2001 World University Games Gold and Silver Medalist


Tasha Schwikert (USA)- 2001 World Championships Bronze Medalist, 2000 Olympian
Tabitha Yim (USA)- 2001 National Runner-up, 2001 World Championships Bronze Medalist
Courtney Kupets (USA)- USA National Team Member
Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)- 2000, 1996, and 1992 Olympian (Gold Medalist in 1992), 2001 World Championships Silver Medalist
Danielle Hypolito (BRA)- 2001 World Championships Silver Medalist
Verona Van De Leur (NED)- 2001 World Championships Team Member (9th place all-around)
Tatiana Yarosh (UKR)- 2001 World Championships Team Member and 2000 Olympian
Lisa Bruggemann (GER)- 2001 and 1999 World Championships Team Member
The Visa American Cup will award $70,000 in total prize money, making it one of the wealthiest and most respected international gymnastics competitions in the world. First place finishers for both men and women earn $15,000 followed by $10,000 and $5,000 for second and third place, respectively. Each individual event winner claims $1,000 per event.
“As the Preferred Card of USA Gymnastics, Visa is committed to supporting one of America’s premiere Olympic sports,” said Jennifer Hemmer, Director of Event and Sponsorship Marketing for Visa USA. “Our partnership with USA Gymnastics enables us to provide valuable resources to these hard working athletes as they train and prepare for competitions here and abroad.”