2007 Pan American Games rhythmic gymnastics preview
posted on 07/25/2007

At the 2005 Pan Am Championships, the USA won the team gold medal, as well as the all-around title and a silver and two bronze medals in the all-around. At the 2003 Pan Am Games, the USA won five gold medals, two silver and one bronze. Since both of those events, the USA has had a turnover in athletes, and the USA’s top two are Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex.

Wang and Zetlin, along with Ava Gehringer of Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, who was named the replacement athlete, were selected by a committee based on performances at a selection camp held at the Elite Sports Complex in Downers Grove, Ill. Coaches for the team are Natalia Klimouk of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Buffalo Grove and Olga Kutuzova of Rhythmflex in Gaithersburg, Md.

Wang is the 2006 U.S. titlist in the all-around, ball and ribbon and was a member of the U.S. Team that won the title at the 2005 Pan American Championships, where she also was sixth in the all-around, fourth in clubs and eighth in ribbon. Zetlin won both clubs and rope at the 2006 Visa Championships to claim top U.S. honors. At the 2007 Rhythmic Challenge, Wang and Zetlin finished one-two, respectively, in the all-around.

Some of their top competition will come from Mexico and Brazil. Mexico’s Cynthia Valdez won the rope, ball and clubs titles, as well as silver medals in the all-around and ribbon at the 2005 Pan Am Championships. Valdez claimed the bronze medal in ribbon at the 2003 Pan Am Games.