STUTTGART, Germany, March 26, 2014 – The USA's rhythmic gymnasts had a cheering section at the recent 2014 GAZPROM World Cup, held at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. The USA competed in both the individual and group events at the World Cup, which is part of the International Gymnastics Federation's World Cup series. Ten members of military families from the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, the local U.S. military community, attended the competition after winning tickets through a raffle offered by the base's newspaper, "Citizen."
"This was such a rare treat for our athletes," said Caroline Hunt, director of rhythmic gymnastics for USA Gymnastics. "To have a cheering section itself is a great boost for USA athletes when we are overseas, but the fact that it was service men and women is an honor. And getting to meet the U.S. families was a very special experience for our team."
After the individual competition was completed, Jasmine Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, watched the group competition with the military families. Following the group competition, the entire U.S. Team delegation (with the exception of Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, who was ill) met with the families, chatted, and posed for photos.
The members of the senior group, which eighth in the 10 clubs final, were: Sharon Dassouli, Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Kiana Eide, St. Francis, Minn./Twin Cities Rhythmic; Alisa Kano, New York, N.Y./Isadora; Natalie McGiffert, Los Angeles, Calif./Platinum Gymnastics Academy; Jennifer Rokhman, Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; and Monica Rokhman, Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center.
The ticket raffle came to fruition after the "Citizen" contacted USA Gymnastics to interview and write a story about members of the U.S. Team.
-- Amy White contributed to this story.