Rhythmic Gymnasts Bring International Flair to Reese's Cup
posted on 01/05/1999

INDIANAPOLIS - Although they both reside in the United States, two rhythmic gymnasts scheduled to compete will add an international flair to the 1999 Reese's Gymnastics Cup, scheduled for 7 p.m. MST Jan. 16 at the Wells Fargo Arena on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.


Both athletes, Mila Harty (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Tatyana Brikulskaya (Staten Island, N.Y.) were born and raised overseas in countries noted for their outstanding rhythmic programs.

Harty, 24, was a member of the Bulgarian National Team under her maiden name of Marinova. She won a gold and four silver medals, including the all-around, at the 1990 Goodwill Games and was third all-around at the European Cup and the Rhythmic World Championships in 1991. Beginning the sport at the age of seven, she was coached in Bulgaria by Efrossina Anguelova, who moved to the USA in 1990, Harty followed her a year later to work with Anguelova as an assistant coach in Jacksonville. After marrying in 1996 and giving birth to a son in 1997, Harty decided to move from coaching back into the competitive ranks last July.

Brikulskaya, 20, lived in her native Ukraine until she and her family moved to the USA in 1996. She was a member of the USA squad which placed 16th at the Group World Championships in Seville, Spain, last summer. She trains at Isadora Rhythmic Gymnastics with coach Nataliya Kiriyenko.

The Reese's Cup is a unique event in which gymnasts pair off and compete as duos, with five teams of women and three teams of men. Each gymnast will compete on two events of his or her choosing. The women will select from floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam, while the men choose from floor exercise, high bar and still rings. The 1999 event will be different in that two of the five women's teams will be comprised of rhythmic gymnasts, who will amaze the audience with their beauty, grace and skill performing with the rhythmic apparatus of ribbon, ball and hoop. As has been the case in the past, the emphasis will be on entertainment, with the gymnasts developing elaborate routines and incorporating unique costumes. A celebrity panel of judges will be on hand to score each performance.

This will be the sixth edition of the Reese's Cup. Past host cities include Baltimore, Md.; Portland, Ore;. Anaheim, Calif., and St. Petersburg, Fla. The event will be televised to a nationwide audience on NBC on a tape-delayed basis on January 23, 1999. Tickets for the event are priced at $25, $20 and $15 and are on sale to the general public. For more information or to order, call Dillard's at 602-503-5555 of the ASU box office at 602-965-2381.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, events and athletes, log on to USA Gymnastics Online at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org.

1999 Reese's Gymnastics Cup Participants
Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz., January 16, 1999

Men Hometown Notes
John Macready Los Angeles, Calif. 1996 Olympian, two-time World Championships team member, National Team member since 1991.
Kip Simons Bloomsburg, Pa. 1996 Olympian, two-time World Championships team member, team gold medalist at 1995 Pan American Games.
Chainey Umphrey Albuquerque, N.M. 1996 Olympian, four-time World Championships participant, 1993 parallel bars national champion.
Chris Waller Los Angeles, Calif. 1992 Olympian; three-time pommel horse national champion; member of the 1995 Pan American Games gold medal team.
Blaine Wilson Columbus, Ohio 1996 Olympian, three-time all-around national champion, two-time NCAA champion.
Women Hometown Notes
Vanessa Atler Canyon Country, Calif. Goodwill Games gold medalist in vault and floor exercise; 1997 co-national champion; silver medalist at 1998 John Hancock U.S. National Championships.
Amanda Borden Cincinnati, Ohio Captain of the 1996 Olympic gold medal team, three-time World Championships Team member, including silver medal team in 1995; multiple medalist (two gold, two silver) at 1995 Pan American Games; currently resides in Tempe, Ariz.
Tatyana Brikulskaya Staten Island, N.Y. Rhythmic gymnast who was raised in Ukraine; member of the USA squad that placed 16th at the 1998 Group World Championships in Seville, Spain. Name is pronounced Tah-tee-AH-nah BRICK-uhl-SKY-ya.
Amy Chow San Jose, Calif. Multiple medalist at 1996 Olympics (gold in team, silver in uneven bars), six-time U.S. Team member.
Mila Harty Jacksonville, Fla. Rhythmic gymnast who won the all-around silver at the 1990 Goodwill Games and a bronze at the 1991 World Championships. Returning to competition after spending seven years as a rhythmic coach. First name is pronounced MEE-lah.
Jaycie Phelps Greenfield, Ind. A three-time national team member who has the distinction of winning a world or Olympic team medal in each year she's been on Team USA: worlds silver in 1994 and bronze in 1995 and the Olympic gold medal in 1996.
Kim Zmeskal Cincinnati, Ohio First American to win a World Championships all-around gold medal; two-time event World Champion in 1992; 1992 Olympian; three-time National Champion; two-time American Cup champion; 1991 USOC SportsWoman of the Year.