T&T Winter Classic Bounds into Tampa
posted on 02/16/2003

Athletes from 25 states and 3 foreign countries will compete in Tampa at the USA Gymnastics Trampoline & Tumbling Winter Classic, February 28-March 2. The event will feature members of the Senior National Team, including former Olympian and current National Champion, Jennifer Parilla of Lake Forest, California and 6-time National Champion, Ryan Weston, Pocatlello, Idaho, in trampoline competition. In tumbling, World Cup bronze medalist, Casey Finley, Lubbock, Texas, is the favorite in a tough men's field, while Lindsey Blundell, Gilmer, Texas is a top contender in women's competition. Leading the Double Mini-Trampoline competition will be the four member men's team, who won the bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships.

The competition is held annually and offers the Junior and Senior Elite athletes a chance to earn points toward making the Junior or Senior National Team. Also participating in the Winter Classic are Junior Olympic athletes in Levels 5-10. Trampoline & Tumbling Senior Program Director, Ann Sims, says, "I am very pleased with the way the competition is shaping up. Tampa is such a great place to have this event, and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau have been a big help in getting everything organized."

USA Gymnastics' Trampoline & Tumbling program consists of four disciplines: Individual Trampoline, Power Tumbling, Double Mini-Trampoline and Synchronized Trampoline. At present, Individual Trampoline is the only Olympic discipline. When asked about the chances for other disciplines to be added to future Olympic Games, Sims said, "I think there is a good possibility that tumbling and Synchro could be Olympic sports someday. It is a question of getting all the parties to agree, and I don't think it will happen until 2008 or 2012." She adds, "This is an emerging sport and is gaining interest from the fans each time it is presented. Be sure to come out and watch these exciting young athletes."

Competition for the Junior and Senior Elites and Level 10 is scheduled for Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1. Levels 5-9 will compete on Sunday, March 2. Tickets are $10 per day and are available at the door.

Winter Classic Competition Schedule:

Friday, February 28
3-4 pm / Session 1 Warm-up / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10
4-9 pm / Session 1 / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10

Saturday, March 1
8-9:00 am / Session 2 Warm-up / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10
9:00-12 noon / Session 2 / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10
12-1 pm / Session 3 Warm-up / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10
4-5:30 pm / Open Training / Levels 5-9
5:30-6:30 pm / Session 4 Warm-up / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10
6:30-9 pm / Session 4 / Jr. Elite, Sr. Elite, Level 10

Sunday, March 2
8:30-10 am / Session 5 Warm-up / Levels 5-9
10 am-3:30 pm / Session 5 / Levels 5-9