Downtown Indianapolis' Georgia Street serves as focal point for P&G Gymnastics Championships fan activities
posted on 08/06/2015

INDIANAPOLIS, August 6, 2015 – When gymnastics fans and officials arrive in downtown Indianapolis to watch the USA’s and many of the world’s best gymnasts compete for national honors at the P&G Gymnastics Championships Aug. 13-16, they’ll also be treated to special events and activities in Bankers Life Fieldhouse and on adjacent Georgia Street.

For four days, Georgia Street will be transformed into a Brazilian beach party featuring “Countdown to Rio” activities in recognition of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that are less than one year away. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and athletes and officials from USA Gymnastics will kick off the four-day P&G Championships Thursday, Aug. 13, at 11 a.m. before the first afternoon of junior women’s competition.

The kickoff will feature world famous gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi and Hoosier Olympic gymnastics medalists who will be honored later that day at “Back Home in Indiana” night. 1996 Olympic team champion Jaycie Phelps, and 2008 Olympic team silver-medalists Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan will be recognized during pre-competition festivities, which also feature the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

Throughout the four days, fans can pose for photos with the Rio 3-D sculpture, which will alternate locations between Georgia Street and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

For the Countdown to Rio beach party, the east block of Georgia Street will become home to a 1,600-square-foot beach, where a sand sculptor from the Indiana Ice Studio will transform five tons of sand into gymnastics-themed sand art, beginning Thursday, Aug. 13.

Georgia Street’s west block will feature food trucks on Aug. 13-14. Participating trucks will offer discounts to P&G Gymnastics Championships ticket and credential holders and will include healthy menu items approved by event partner St.Vincent Sports Performance. Food trucks will also be on the east block on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Well-known gymnastics celebrities, including 1996 Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller, 2004 Olympic all-around champion Carly Patterson, Peszek and Sloan, will be on hand to sign autographs on Georgia Street and at Bankers Life Fieldhouse throughout the four days of competition.

To add to the festive, nighttime atmosphere downtown, the Indianapolis Power and Light building, located on the Circle, will feature a U.S. flag and the Olympic rings for the four nights of the P&G Championships.

Before the senior women’s finals on Saturday night (Aug. 15), Angie Miller, a 2013 American Idol finalist, will perform outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 6:15 p.m. She finished third on the hit television show and released her first EP, 'Weathered' last year which debuted at number one on Billboard's heatseekers chart. As fans leave the competition later that evening, they’ll be greeted by Brazilian music played by a DJ and a light display. The first 4,000 fans leaving the Fieldhouse will receive Olympic-themed glow sticks for the post-event entertainment.

The fan activities for Georgia Street and inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse are outlined below. Shannon Miller, Patterson, Peszek and Sloan are among the well-known gymnasts who will sign autographs on Georgia Street and the Bankers Life Fieldhouse concourse throughout the four days. Organizers estimate that approximately 300 individuals will have the opportunity for an autograph during the allotted time. For a schedule of when and where athletes are signing autographs, the list of participating food trucks, and more information on the P&G Championships and fan activities, go to PGChamps.com.

If there is inclement weather, the Georgia Street activities will be cancelled. Fans should check PGChamps.com for updates and the latest schedule.

Georgia Street and Outdoor Activities

  • Bring your workout gear and participate in a special edition of “Workout Wednesday” led by Olympians Peszek and Sloan in the west block of Georgia Street. Wednesday, Aug. 12, 12-12:45 p.m.

  • Kick off the first day of competition with the Circle City’s Taste of the Championships on the west block. Food trucks will offer health-conscious menu items that have been approved by St.Vincent Sports Performance and discounted items for those with P&G Gymnastics Championships tickets or credentials. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 15, the food trucks move to the east block from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Official Countdown to Rio beach party in the east block includes a scavenger hunt and activities for kids, such as balance beam and carnival masks; an interactive live art project that will be unveiled during Sunday’s competition; special gymnastics-themed sand sculpture on the Georgia Street beach; Brazilian music; and the 3-D letter sculpture Rio, a signature art piece. Also local gymnastics clubs will give demonstrations – the Gymnastics Company on Thursday, Dana Mannix Gymnastics and The Flip Zone on Friday, and Fusion Gymnastics and Geist Sports Academy on Saturday. Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, August 14, 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 15, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Happy Hour Thursday in the center block of Georgia Street, with an Olympic gymnast appearance. Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

  • On Thursday, 1996 Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller will sign copies of her book, “It’s Not About Perfect,” in the CNO booth on Georgia Street’s east block. Thursday, Aug. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Special performance by American Idol Season 12 finalist Angie Miller, outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Saturday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m.

  • Samba lessons, Georgia Street east block. Saturday, Aug. 15, 5:50-6:20 p.m.

  • Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, performance, Georgia Street east block. Saturday, Aug. 15, 5:10-5:40 p.m.

  • DJ Kyle Long entertainment, Georgia Street east block. Saturday, Aug. 15, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Following Saturday night’s competition, Brazilian music spun by DJ Kyle Long and light display adjacent to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Aug. 15.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse activities
NOTE: Doors to Bankers Life Fieldhouse open 60 minutes prior to ticketed start time.

  • 40 Empowerment Through Performance banners created by members of gymnastics clubs and other youth organizations from central Indiana will be displayed throughout the championships at the Indiana Convention Center and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • AT&T will offer Road to Rio 3D photo opportunities on a virtual beach.

  • Spectators can enjoy makeovers at the P&G Beauty and Grooming booth, including CoverGirl manicures and makeup application from professional artists, and Gillette hot towel shaves. Learn about CoverGirl, Pantene, Secret, Gillette and Venus, as well as receive samples to experience the products at home.

  • Kids can have fun and gain knowledge about the importance of fitness through the interactive Kellogg's Fitness and Nutrition Zone, which features physical activities in building balance, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise, all of which are fundamental to gymnastics. USA Gymnastics athletes will sign autographs for kids who participate in the zone's activities before each senior session. Guests may also receive free samples of Kellogg’s cereal products.

  • Think you are ready for 2016? Here’s your opportunity to test your skills at the Under Armour Performance Center. Fans of all ages can demonstrate their gymnastics abilities in three events. You will get to take home a photo of you showcasing your talent to share with your friends. Here’s your chance to show us your WILL.

  • Two main concourse concession stands will feature Circle City’s Taste of the Championships healthy food options that meet guidelines provided by St.Vincent Sports Performance. Menu includes fruits, vegetables and healthy salads.

  • Thursday night, the first of two women’s senior sessions, has been designated as Back Home Again in Indiana because Indy’s Phelps, Peszek and Sloan will be honored and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir will perform.

  • On Friday night (Aug. 14), the first of two competition days for senior men, the 2015 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame class will be recognized. The class includes acrobatic gymnasts Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues of Livermore, Calif.; female gymnasts Mohini Bhardwaj of Los Angeles and Terin Humphrey of Kansas City; rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard of Jacksonville, Fla.; trampoline and tumbling specialist Jennifer Sans of Burnsville, Minn.; men’s gymnastics coach Mark Williams of Norman, Okla.; and Doug Hills of Portland, Ore., and the late Dave Moskovitz, lifetime achievement. Darren Renna of Boston will receive the 2015 USA Gymnastics Robert Miller Spirit of the Flame Award.

  • Members of Team Hilton will sign autographs on the concourse Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6:30 p.m. One autograph per person will be offered to the first 300 fans. Members of Team Hilton include: Donothan Bailey, Lake Forest, Calif./University of California–Berkeley; Chris Brooks, Houston/U.S. Olympic Training Center; Jake Dalton, Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Horton, Houston /Cypress Gymnastics; Marvin Kimble, Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy; Steven Legendre, Norman, Okla./University of Oklahoma; Danell Leyva, Miami, Fla./Universal Gymnastics; Sam Mikulak, Newport Coast, Calif., Eddie Penev, Penfield, N.Y., Paul Ruggeri III, Manlius, N.Y., Donnell Whittenburg, Baltimore, Md., Brandon Wynn, Voorhees, N.J., all with the U.S. Olympic Training Center; and Alexander Naddour, Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center.

  • Vanessa Atler of Bakersfield, Calif., who tied for the U.S. all-around title in 1997 and won two 1998 Goodwill Games gold medals, will sign her children’s book, “Let the River Flow,” prior to the junior sessions on Thursday and Friday. Based on Atler’s childhood as a young gymnast, the story of River is about overcoming setbacks on and off the playing field, as well as striving not only to do one’s best but also to enjoy the experience of participating in sports. Illustrated by Mentol, the hardbound, 24-page book is geared for youngsters ages 5-10 and available at the merchandise booth.

  • Fans can purchase everything gymnastics, including event-specific tees, Under Armour and GK leotards, Shannon Miller’s “It’s Not About Perfect,” Atler’s “Let The River Flow,” and Vera Bradley bags, at merchandise booths on the concourse.

The Indiana Sports Corporation, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana are the local organizers of the P&G Gymnastics Championships. St.Vincent Sports Performance is the official medical and performance nutrition provider of USA Gymnastics and the P&G Gymnastics Championships. Premier level sponsors are Deloitte, Vera Bradley, Kroger and OneAmerica Financial Partners. Local event partners are Bohlsen Group; Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group; Hendricks Regional Health; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Crowe Horwath; and Faegre Baker Daniels. The headquarters for USA Gymnastics has been located in Indianapolis since 1983.

In addition to competition, nearly 3,000 people are expected for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, an annual education event for the entire gymnastics community held in conjunction with the championships. The National Congress will be housed at the Indianapolis Convention Center and will feature presentations, demonstrations and educational seminars.

P&G Championships information
Scheduled for Aug. 13-16, the four-day P&G Gymnastics Championships serves as USA Gymnastics’ national championships and will determine members of the men’s and women’s national team and part of the World Team selection.

Single-session tickets are still available and range from $10-$105, with prices varying depending on session and seating area, along with several other ticket packages: women’s gymnastics day 1 includes both the junior and senior sessions on Aug. 13, $75-$125 per seat; men’s gymnastics package that includes every men’s junior and senior session, Aug. 14 and 16, $75-$125; women’s gymnastics final day includes both the junior and senior sessions on Aug. 15, $90-$140; senior men’s and women’s gymnastics final day sessions, Aug. 15-16, $85-$135; and all-session ticket package includes every competitive session, with prices running from $150-$495, and a limited number of Platinum VIP all-session tickets, located in the first five rows, are still available and include an autographed poster and a meet-and-greet with an Olympian.

Tickets may be purchased at Ticketmaster through www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster charge by phone 1-800-745-3000 or at participating Walmart locations in Central Indiana and Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office. Prices vary depending on seat location, and listed ticket prices do not include applicable fees.

The competition schedule, which is subject to change, is outlined below:

  • Thursday, Aug. 13 – women’s gymnastics, juniors at 1 p.m.; seniors at 7 p.m.;
  • Friday, Aug. 14 – men’s gymnastics, juniors at 1 p.m.; seniors at 7 p.m.;
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 – women’s gymnastics, juniors at 1 p.m.; seniors at 7:30 p.m.;
  • Sunday, Aug. 16 – men’s gymnastics, seniors at 1:30 p.m.; juniors at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships, go to pgchamps.com.

Biles and Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./Team Hilton (U.S. Olympic Training Center), both won their second consecutive women’s and men’s U.S. all-around titles, respectively, at the 2014 P&G Championships. The roster of former U.S. all-around champions is a veritable who’s who of gymnastics, including: women – Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kim Zmeskal and Mary Lou Retton; and men – Paul Hamm, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Mitch Gaylord, Peter Vidmar and Bart Conner. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men and 1931 for the women. Previously known as the Visa Championships, this is the fourth time the prestigious event has been held in Indianapolis (1986, 1998, 2005, 2015).

Background information

  • St.Vincent Sports Performance. A worldwide destination for elite athlete training, the St.Vincent Sports Performance staff has been supporting world-class athletes since 1987. The first and largest hospital- based program of its kind in the United States, St.Vincent Sports Performance employs 70 nationally certified athletic trainers, 7 physicians, 12 certified strength and conditioning specialists, two licensed sports psychologists and a registered sports dietitian. Together they have trained athletes at every level from Olympians to the NFL and NBA, to Motorsports and NCAA athletes. Learn more at definingsportsperformance.com.

  • Indiana Sports Corp. Indiana Sports Corp’s mission is to create positive impact by hosting world-class sporting events that enhance vibrancy in the community, build civic pride, drive economic impact and media exposure, and encourage opportunities for youth. A not-for-profit organization, Indiana Sports Corp was founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission. Our recent and upcoming schedule of events includes NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, Big Ten Football Championship Games through 2021, Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships, 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving, and much more. For more information, visit www.IndianaSportsCorp.org.