Lee set for third Nastia Liukin Cup appearance
posted on 02/04/2014

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 4, 2014 – Four gymnasts qualified this weekend, including two-time Nastia Liukin Cup participant Kari Lee of Peoria, Ariz./Flames Gymnastics, for the 36-athlete field for the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup, scheduled for Feb. 28 in Greensboro, N.C. The Nastia Liukin Cup will be held the night before AT&T American Cup at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Lee competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2012 and 2013.

The qualifiers from this past weekend, along with the invitational where they qualified, are listed below.

  • Emma Brown of Adel, Iowa/Chow's Gymnastics and Dance, junior; Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
  • Lee, senior; Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Brianna Brown of West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, senior; and Alexa Al-Hameed of Ames, Iowa/Triad Gymnastics, junior; Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational, Indianapolis, Ind.
Lee posted a 39.025 in the all-around, with no scores lower than 9.650, at the Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational to advance to her third straight Nastia Liukin Cup. Emma Brown earned a 35.350 at the Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic to advance to the Cup. At the Circle of Stars Invitational, Brianna Brown, who qualified to the event in 2013, posted a 38.350 to qualify as a senior, while Al-Hameed's 38.125 gave her a place in the Nastia Liukin Cup junior competition.

A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger. The invitational meets remaining in the 2014 Nastia Liukin Cup Series are listed below, and the numbers in parentheses indicate how many qualifiers are determined at each invitational.

  • Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 7-9 (1 JR, 1 SR)
  • Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 7-9 (1 SR)
  • IGI Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 7-9 (1 JR, 2 SR)
  • Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 7-9 (1 JR, 1 SR)
  • WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 7-9 (2 JR, 1 SR)
  • Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 7-10 (1 JR)
  • Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 14-16 (1 JR)
  • The Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 14-16 (1 JR, 1 SR)
  • Presidential Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 14-17 (1 JR, 1 SR)
  • Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 15-16 (1 JR, 1 SR)
  • Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 26 (1 SR)

Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the AT&T American Cup and recognition during the event; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.

A portion of the proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup benefits the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund in partnership with the National Gymnastics Foundation (www.usagym.org/foundation).

Background information

  • Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin's total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin's Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin was the third of four U.S. women to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including "Gossip Girl," "Make It or Break it," and the feature film, "Stick It." She was also chosen as one of 2009's most influential women by MSN Lifestyle. Liukin is now attending New York University in New York City, studying sports management. Last fall, she was a member of the creative team and a cast member for the Kellogg's Tour of Olympic Champions, a national, 40-city tour that followed the 2012 Olympic Games. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.

  • AT&T American Cup. The 2014 AT&T American Cup is one of the most prestigious international invitational events and features an all-around format. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport's best-known names, including Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. For more information, go to www.attamericancup.com.


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