HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Oct. 13, 2013 – More than 300 gymnasts from throughout the United States participated in the Talent Opportunity Program's (TOPs) National Testing at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, an U.S. Olympic training site, this past weekend. The gymnasts, 8 - 10 years old who represented 138 different clubs, qualified for TOPS National Testing by placing in the top 100 of their age group in state testing. .
TOPS national coaching staff served as the testing's evaluators under the direction of Valeri Liukin, the Developmental Team coordinator. The athletes were tested on seven physical abilities stations and skills on the four events Based on performances in the testing, 110 gymnasts will earn a spot on the National TOPS A (50) and B (60) Teams and invited to the to participate in two training camps in December at the training center.
With a rich, 21-year history, TOPs is a talent search and educational opportunity for female gymnasts, ages 7-10, and their coaches and parents. Athletes are first evaluated at the state level on their physical abilities. From there, the top 8-10 year-old gymnasts are invited to participate in the TOPs National Testing. Based on national testing results, athletes are invited to participate in the National TOPs training camp in December of each year as a member of the National TOPs Team.
TOPs has certainly proven itself over the years. Many national team members and World and Olympic medalists have participated in TOPs, including Olympic medalists Gabrielle Douglas, Courtney Kupets, Chellsie Memmel, Carly Patterson, Samantha Peszek, Alexandra Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Alicia Sacramone and Tasha Schwikert.