INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 9, 2014 – World and Olympic medalists Fabian Hambuechen of Germany and Larisa Andrea Iordache of Romania headline the international field, which includes 10 Olympians and five World medalists, for the 2014 AT&T American Cup, scheduled for Saturday, March 1, 2014, at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex. 2013 World parallel bars bronze-medalist John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), will represent the United States, along with 2013 World all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/Bannon's Gymnastix, 2012 Olympic team gold-medalist and 2013 World all-around silver-medalist Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max, and 2012 Olympian Sam Mikulak of Corona del Mar, Calif./University of Michigan, who were previously announced.
"This is an incredibly strong field for both the men and women," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Seven men and all eight women finished in the top 12 in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships. With the Winter Olympics taking place in February, the AT&T American Cup marks the beginning of the Road to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."
Invitations to compete in the AT&T American Cup were based on performances at the 2013 World Gymnastics Championships. The AT&T American Cup became an International Gymnastics Federation all-around World Cup event in 2011 and is part of the FIG's all-around World Cup series. The entire field, listed by country, is as follows.
- Men's field
Belarus - Andrey Likhovitskiy
Brazil - Sergio Sasaki Junior
Germany - Fabian Hambuechen
Great Britain - Sam Oldham (added 1/28/14)
Great Britain - Daniel Purvis
Japan - Shogo Nonomura
Spain - Fabian Gonzalez
USA - Sam Mikulak, Corona del Mar, Calif./University of Michigan
USA - John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center)
Canada - Victoria Moors
Germany - Sophie Scheder (added 1/20/14)
Italy - Carlotta Ferlito
Italy - Vanessa Ferrari
Romania - Larisa Andrea Iordache
Romania - Larisa Andrea Iordache (withdrew 2/23/14)
Spain - Roxana Popa Nedelcu
Switzerland - Giulia Steingruber
USA - Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/Bannon's Gymnastix (withdrew 2/23/14)
USA - Brenna Dowell, Odessa, Mo./GAGE (added 2/23/14)
USA - Elizabeth Price, Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center (added 1/24/14)
USA - Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max (withdrew 1/24/14)
Ticket prices, which range from $25-$125, include facility fees and vary according to ticket location. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster,com, Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, and the Greensboro Coliseum box office. For group (10+ people) sales information, please call the Coliseum group sales department at (336) 373-7433. Discounted tickets are also available through local gym clubs that are participating in the Club Ticket Sales Program.
Hambuechen won the 2009 American Cup, and 2014 marks his sixth appearance in the event. In 2013, the German claimed the World all-around bronze and horizontal bar silver medals. A two-time Olympian, Hambuechen won the silver and bronze high bar medals at the 2012 and 2008 Olympics, respectively. His other World medals are: gold – horizontal bar (2007); silver – all-around (2007); bronze – team (2007, 2010), horizontal bar (2010), all-around (2006) and vault (2006). Sasaki was seventh at the 2013 AT&T American Cup, as well as fifth in both the all-around and vault at the 2013 Worlds and 10th in the all-around at the 2012 Olympics. Purvis competed in both the 2011 and 2012 AT&T American Cups. He was seventh in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships after placing fourth at the 2011 Worlds. Both Purvis and Whitlock were members of the British team that was third in the team competition at the 2012 Olympic Games. Whitlock also was third on the pommel horse in London, and just one year later, finished fourth in the all-around and second on the pommel horse at the 2013 Worlds. Gonzalez was ninth in the all-around at the 2012 Olympic Games and 11th at the 2013 Worlds. Likhovitskiy was eighth in the all-around at the 2013 Worlds, and Nonomura won the all-around title at the World Cup in Stuttgart in 2011.
Iordache, who was third at the 2012 AT&T American Cup, was third in the floor exercise and fourth in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships. In 2012, she won the floor exercise title at the European Championships and followed up with the team bronze at the Olympics, where she was ninth in the all-around. A two-time Olympian, Ferrari won the World all-around title in 2006. She was sixth in the all-around at the 2013 Worlds and has earned five World medals: gold – all-around (2006); silver – floor exercise (2013); bronze – all-around (2007), uneven bars (2006) and floor exercise (2006). Ferarri finished fifth at the 2013 AT&T American Cup. A 2012 Olympian, Ferlito was third in the all-around at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and was 11th in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships. Steingruber, the Swiss Athlete of the Year for 2013, was seventh in the all-around at the 2013 Worlds after finishing 14th at the 2012 Olympics. Moors was third at the 2013 AT&T American Cup, and Greensboro will be her third American Cup. She was 10th in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships and competed at the London Olympics. Nedelcu was 12th in the all-around at this year's Worlds.
In 2013, Orozco won the U.S. parallel bars title and was the silver medalist on the horizontal bar at the P&G Championships. He went on to capture the bronze medal for the parallel bars at the 2013 World Championships. Orozco was eighth in the all-around at the 2012 Olympic Games. Also in 2012, he won the national all-around title at the Visa Championships, as well as the silver medal for the high bar and pommel horse and the bronze for both the still rings and parallel bars. Orozco was also a member of the 2011 U.S. Men's Team that won the World team bronze medal and competed in the 2012 AT&T American Cup.
Biles and Ross finished one-two, respectively, in the all-around at the 2013 World Championships, becoming just the third U.S. duo to take the top two all-around World spots. In addition to her all-around title, Biles also won the floor exercise gold, the vault silver and the balance beam bronze medals. Earlier in 2013, Biles won her first U.S. all-around title and was second at the AT&T American Cup. At Worlds, Ross also earned the silver medals for the balance beam and uneven bars. Ross, who was awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance at the World Championships, won the U.S. titles for the uneven bars and balance beam, as well as finished second in the all-around, at the 2013 P&G Championships. She was a member of The Fierce FiveSM, the U.S. Women's Team that won the team gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Mikulak finished sixth in the all-around and fourth on the horizontal bar at the 2013 World Championships. He enjoyed an incredible 2013, winning the all-around crown at the Big Ten Championships, NCAA National Championships and the P&G Championships. He also claimed the parallel bars and high bar titles at both the NCAA Nationals and P&G Championships. Mikulak was a member of the U.S. Men's Team for the 2012 Olympic Games, where he competed in the vault finals. A second U.S. man will be named to the field in 2014.
In conjunction with the AT&T American Cup, the Nastia Liukin Cup, which features many of the country's top Junior Olympic female gymnasts, will be held Feb. 28 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The Nastia Liukin Cup, named after the 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist, showcases gymnasts who qualify through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. The Cup series includes many of the country's top invitationals held throughout January and February.
Greensboro will become "gymnastics central" the last week of February because the 2014 Greater Greensboro Invitational is scheduled for Feb. 26-March 2, 2014, and will serve as the final qualifying event for the Nastia Liukin Cup. This is the first time the event has been part of the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. In addition, the equipment and podium brought in for the AT&T American Cup will be used for the finals for designated women's sessions of the invitational.
Kristie Phillips-Bannister of Troutman, N.C., who owns the Kristie Phillips Athletic Center (KPAC), is a two-time American Cup champion. Katelyn Ohashi of Allen, Texas/WOGA, and Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma, won the 2013 AT&T American Cup. The impressive list of former American Cup champions also includes Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Danell Leyva, Liukin, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton, Peter Vidmar and Jordyn Wieber. Past sites for the American Cup include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); and Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013).
The Nastia Liukin Cup made its debut in 2010 in Worcester and returned in 2013. Other sites for the Nastia Liukin Cup are Jacksonville, Fla. (2011) and New York City (2012).
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