INDIANAPOLIS, April 30, 2012 – USA Gymnastics continues its partnership with Special Olympics for the second annual USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships, May 5-6, at the Cobb County Gymnastics Center in Marietta, Ga. The annual national event will feature competition in artistic gymnastics (men, women and unified), rhythmic gymnastics (individual, group and Unified) and TeamGym.
"It is an honor for USA Gymnastics to partner with Special Olympics for such an inspiring event for a second year," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "This is a wonderful way to showcase and recognize these athletes and their hard work at a national level."
The artistic competition is for skill Levels A, 1, 2, 3 and 4, with rhythmic gymnastics for Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Competition includes both individual and Unified gymnasts. A Unified gymnast is a partner without intellectual disabilities who will compete the same routine as the Special Olympics athlete, and the pair's scores will be combined for a team total. For rhythmic group, there are an equal number of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners in each group. TeamGym may have both Unified partners and Special Olympics athletes.
TeamGym is a competitive version of group gymnastics that features squads of athletes performing together in two events – group floor exercise and group jump.
Men's and women's gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics will follow Special Olympics rules, while TeamGym will use USA Gymnastics rules.
The USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships is hosted locally by Chattooga Gymnastics, Special Olympics Georgia and Special Olympics Cobb County.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.