GREENSBORO, N.C., Feb. 27, 2014 – Thirty-five Level 10 Junior Olympians will compete Friday, Feb. 28, at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum for a chance to win the fifth Nastia Liukin Cup all-around title. The Nastia Liukin Cup will be held the night before AT&T American Cup at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and competition begins at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Fans can catch the action live on Universal Sports Network and website or online at NastiaLiukinCup.com, with additional coverage on USA Gymnastics' YouTube channel. The official Twitter hashtag of the event is #NastiaCup.
The final member of the 35-athlete field qualified Wednesday night at the Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, which was held on the same podium as both the Nastia Liukin Cup and AT&T American Cup. The event's final qualifier was Anna Glenn, whose twin sister Grace Glenn was the first qualifier to the event. Both reside in Charlotte, N.C., and train at Southeastern Gymnastics Center.
The field for the event includes 13 athletes who have previously competed in the Nastia Liukin Cup. Kari Lee of Peoria, Ariz./Flames Gymnastics Academy, and Lauren Ramirez of Chandler, Ariz./Gold Medal Gymnastics, are back for their third straight appearance, and Mackenzie Brannan of Austin, Texas/Capital Gymnastics, is also in her third appearance (2011, 2013). Two-time qualifiers include Nikole Addison of Fort Myers, Fla./CEGA, 2010; Briana Brown of West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, 2013; Reagan Campbell of Highland Village, Texas/Texas Dreams, 2013; Stefani Catour of Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Lights, 2011; Wynter Childers of Spearfish, S.D./Spearfish Gymnastics, 2012; Bridget Dean of Fort Myers, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics, 2013; Makarri Doggette of Pickerington, Ohio, 2013; Kennedi Edney of Chino, Calif./Precision Gymnastics, 2012; Bailey Ferrer of Orlando/Orlando Metro, 2013; and Kyana George of McKinney, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics, 2013.
Athletes also scheduled to compete include McKenna Kelley of Houston/Stars, who is the daughter of 1984 Olympic all-around gold-medalist Mary Lou Retton; Aloyna Shchennikova of Avarda, Colo./TIGAR, whose sister, Polina, is a member of the U.S. Junior National Team; and Rachel Baumann of Plano, Texas/WOGA, sister of junior national team member Alyssa Baumann
Former senior national team member Kennedy Baker of Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams, has withdrawn from the competition with an injury.
Tickets are $30 and are available at www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, and the Greensboro Coliseum box office.
A total of 18 junior and 17 senior gymnasts are competing in the Nastia Liukin Cup. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger.
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).
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. Also, Liukin currently serves as a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports and was a special contributor during NBC's coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. In 2012, 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.