USA's Horton, Raisman will compete in 2011 AT&T American Cup
posted on 01/18/2011

Jonathan Horton and Alexandra Raisman
© John Cheng

INDIANAPOLIS, January 18, 2011 Acaa Jonathan Horton of Houston, the 2010 World all-around bronze medalist, and Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., a 2010 World all-around finalist, have accepted an invitation to represent the United States at the 2011 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, scheduled for March 5 at Jacksonville's (Fla.) Veterans Memorial Arena. The two Americans will face stiff competition from an impressive international field that includes 2010 World all-around champions Aliya Mustafina of Russia and Kohei Uchimura of Japan, as well as World all-around silver-medalists Jiang Yuyuan of China and Philipp Boy of Germany.

"This year's AT&T American Cup showcases the world's best gymnasts, literally," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "This is as close as a fan can get to the World all-around finals without actually going to the World Championships. Fans will get an up-close-and-personal look at the gymnasts expected to contend for medals at the 2012 Olympic Games."

The 2011 AT&T American Cup field includes 10 World medalists who earned 22 World medals, and eight 2008 Olympians who won a collective five medals. The 16 gymnasts who have registered with the FIG and are expected to compete in Jacksonville are:

Men

  • USA: Jonathan Horton, Houston
  • China: Lu Bo
  • Germany: Philipp Boy
  • Great Britain: Daniel Purvis
  • Japan: Kohei Uchimura
  • Japan: Koji Uematsu
  • Russia: Sergey Khorokhordin
  • Ukraine: Mykola Kuksenkov

Women

  • USA: Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass.
  • Australia: Lauren Mitchell
  • China: Huang Quishuang
  • China: Jiang Yuyuan
  • Germany: Elisabeth Seitz
  • Russia: Aliya Mustafina
  • Switzerland: Ariella Kaeslin
  • Venezuela: Jessica Lopez
After finishing second in the all-around at the 2008 Olympic Games, Uchimura has won two straight World all-around titles. Boy also competed in the 2008 Olympics, was fourth in the all-around at the 2009 European Championships and is a veteran of four World Championships. Horton has won two American Cup titles, as well as two consecutive U.S. all-around crowns and the 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medal. Kuksenkov and Purvis rounded out the top five in the men's all-around at the 2010 World Championships. Lu was sixth in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships, where China won the team gold. Uematsu was eighth in the all-around and fifth in the floor exercise at last year's Worlds.

For the women, Mustafina won five medals at the 2010 Worlds: the all-around and team gold medals and the silver for vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Jiang was a member of China's 2008 Olympic gold-medal team and sixth in the all-around in Beijing. In the World all-around finals, Huang was fourth, and Mitchell was sixth, in addition to winning the floor exercise title. A 2008 Olympian, Kaeslin was eighth in the all-around at 2009-10 Worlds. Lopez, who also competed in Beijing, was 10th and Seitz was 12th, respectively, in the 2010 World all-around finals. Raisman, the silver medalist at the 2010 American Cup, made her World Championships debut last year in Rotterdam, where she competed in both the all-around and floor exercise finals and helped the USA win the team silver medal. The USA's Rebecca Bross, the 2010 World all-around bronze medalist, declined an invitation to compete because she is recovering from surgery.

Eight gymnasts in the field have competed in previous American Cups: Horton, Kaeslin, Khorokhordin, Lopez, Lu, Raisman, Seitz and Uematsu.

The 2011 AT&T American Cup will begin at 11:30 a.m. For only the second time in the event's history, the AT&T American Cup will be part of the FIG's World Cup series and is the first of four all-around World Cup events in 2011. The other three all-around World Cup events are in Glasgow, Scotland; Stuttgart, Germany; and Tokyo, Japan. In accordance with the World Cup regulations, the gymnasts are invited based on performances at the 2010 World Championships. Shannon Miller, the USA's most decorated gymnast, is this year's AT&T American Cup honorary chairperson.

On sale now, tickets range from $29.50 to $100 and may be purchased through Ticketmaster by phone at 800-745-3000; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; through participating gym clubs; or at the Veterans Memorial Arena Box Office. Visa is the preferred method of payment.

The Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, which features 36 of the country's rising young gymnasts, will be staged on March 4 at 7 p.m. A minimum of two gymnasts from each of the 17 invitationals in the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup Series advances to the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup. Proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, which is part of the National Gymnastics Foundation.

Bross and Russia's Maxim Devyatovsky won the 2010 American Cup. Jacksonville hosted the all-around invitational in 2007 when 2008 Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson and Horton won the women's and men's titles, respectively. The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena was also the site for the 1985 U.S. Championships and the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials. JEDC Sports and Entertainment is USA Gymnastics' local partner for the event.

The list of former American Cup all-around gold medalists includes many of the best-known and loved names in gymnastics: men Acaa Jonathan Horton, Fabian Hambuechen (Germany), Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women Acaa Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania). In 2005, the American Cup was a World Cup event and its format named individual event champions; the USA's Alexander Artemev, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel and Liukin won gold medals.

The American Cup was first held in 1976. Past sites include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008); Ft. Worth Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia (2006); Jacksonville (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); and Worcester, Mass. (2010).

Background information

AT&T. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates Acaa AT&T operating companies Acaa are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseAA(R) and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNEAA(R) magazine. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.

JEDC Sports & Entertainment. The JEDC Sports & Entertainment office enhances the region's economy by attracting special events and sports organizations to the First Coast and actively promotes the facilities owned by the City of Jacksonville while serving as an in-house event production, marketing and advertising agency for regional sporting events. For more information, please visit www.jaxdevelopment.org.

Shannon Miller. Miller is the most decorated American gymnast, male or female, in history, having won more Olympic and World Championship medals than any other American gymnast. She has earned seven Olympic medals and nine World Championships medals since her elite international debut in 1990. Her tally of five medals (two silver, three bronze) at the 1992 Olympic Games was the most medals won by a U.S. athlete in Barcelona, Spain. During her career, Miller won 58 international and 49 national competition medals, more than half of which were gold. A member of two U.S. Olympic Teams, she was part of the "Magnificent Seven," the first U.S. women's gymnastics team to win an Olympic team gold medal, at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She also became the first American gymnast to win an individual gold medal on the balance beam in 1996. Miller is a member of seven halls of fame, including the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Miller received a bachelor's degree in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and a law degree from Boston College. In 2007, she began the Shannon Miller Foundation, which is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity. She recently launched Shannon Miller Lifestyle, a website and line of books and videos dedicated to health and fitness for women. Miller was named to the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors in 2008 and was appointed co-chair of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness in 2007. She is married and has one son.

Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup. The Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup is scheduled for March 4, 2011, at the Veterans Memorial Arena, the evening prior to the prestigious AT&T American Cup. A minimum of two gymnasts will advance to the Cup from the 17 invitationals included in the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup Series. This is the event's second year, and proceeds will benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, part of the National Gymnastics Fund. For more information, go to www.nastialiukinsupergirlcup.com.

2011 AT&T American Cup Capsule biographies

Men

Philipp Boy, Germany. Blumenhagen, Germany; 7-23-87. At the 2010 World Championships, Boy finished second in the all-around and fourth on the horizontal bar, as well as helped his team earn the bronze medal. He was fourth in the all-around at the 2009 European Championships. He also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2006-07 and 2009 World Championships.

Jonathan Horton, USA. Houston, Texas/Cypress Academy; 12-31-85. Since winning the horizontal bar silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, Horton has earned the 2010 World all-around bronze medal; won back-to-back U.S. all-around titles (2009-2010); gotten married; and returned to Houston to train with Tom Meadows at Cypress Academy. He also finished second in the all-around at the 2010 American Cup and third on both still rings and horizontal bar at the 2010 World Cup in Paris. A three-time team captain at the University of Oklahoma, Horton claimed 18 All-American honors, 16 NCAA individual titles, the 2006 NCAA all-around title, three NCAA team titles (2005-06, 2008), and the Nissen-Emery Award. He is married to Haley DeProspero, a former Oklahoma gymnast who is currently in medical school.

Sergey Khorokhordin, Russia. 10-9-85. At the 2010 World Championships, he was seventh in the all-around. He was fifth in the all-around at the 2008 Olympic Games. He also competed in the 2006-07 World Championships and the 2009 World Championships. Khorokhordin finished fourth at the 2006 American Cup. He also competed in the 2006-09 European Championships.

Mykola Kuksenkov, Ukraine. Kiev, Ukraine; 6-2-89. Kuksenkov was fourth in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships and ninth at the 2009 Worlds. He competed in the 2007-09 European Championships and the 2006 World Championships.

Lu Bo, China. Born in Liaoning, China, on 1-4-85. Lu was sixth in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships, China won the team gold medal. He competed in the 2005 and 2007-08 American Cups, finishing fourth in 2008. Lu was third in the all-around at the 2008 Pacific Rim Championships, as well as first on still rings and second on pommel horse. He won the all-around and still rings at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships.

Daniel Purvis, Great Britain. Crosby, England; 11-13-90. At the 2010 World Championships, Purvis was fifth in the all-around and third in the floor exercise. He tied for the British all-around and floor titles in 2010. Purvis won the 2010Champions Trophy, as well as finished third in floor at the 2010 European Championships. He also competed in the 2009 World Championships and was seventh in the all-around at the 2009 European Championships. Purvis was second in the all-around at the 2008 DTB Pokal World Cup. He was an alternate for the 2008 Olympic Team. Also in 2008, he was the British Under-18 all-around champion and the silver all-around medalist at the Junior European Championships.

Kohei Uchimura, Japan. Kanagawa, Japan; 1-3-89. Uchimura has won the last two world all-around titles (2009-10), following up on his all-around silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. In addition to his all-around title at the 2010 Worlds, Uchimura was second in the floor exercise and third on parallel bars, as well as helped his team win the silver medal.

Koji Uematsu, Japan. 8-30-86. Uematsu was eighth in the all-around and fifth on the parallel bars at the 2010 World Championships, where Japan also finished second in the team competition. He was fifth on parallel bars at the 2009 American Cup. At the 2008 Grand Prix in Ostrava, he was second in the floor exercise and fifth on the horizontal bar.

Women

Huang Qiushuang, China. Xiangfan, China; 5-28-92. At the 2010 World Championships, Huang was fourth in the all-around and sixth on the uneven bars, where China was third in the team competition. She was first on the uneven bars and second in the floor exercise at the 2010 Doha World Cup.

Jiang Yuyuan, China. Liuzhou, China; 11-1-91. At the 2010 World Championships, Jiang was second in the all-around, and China was third in the team competition. At the 2008 Olympic Games, she finished sixth in the all-around and fourth in the floor exercise, as well as helped the Chinese team win the gold medal. At the 2007 World Championships, she was fourth in the floor finals, and China was second in the team rankings. She won both the uneven bars and floor exercise at the 2008 Grand Prix in Ostrava. Jiang finished second in both the uneven bars and the floor exercise at the 2008 World Cup Final.

Ariella Kaeslin, Switzerland. Lucerne, Switzerland; 10-11-87. At the World Championships, Kaeslin finished eighth in the all-around in both 2009 and 2010, and finished second and fourth on vault, respectively. She was fifth on vault and 22nd in the all-around at the 2008 Olympic Games. Kaeslin was fourth in the all-around at the 2010 American Cup. She has competed in four European Championships, and in 2009 placed third in the all-around and first on vault. She also was second on vault at the 2008 World Cup Final.

Jessica Lopez, Venezuela. Santa Monica, Venezuela; 1-22-86; competed for the University of Denver. Lopez, who majored in psychology at DU, finished 10th in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships, which was her third Worlds. She also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games. Lopez has participated in three American Cups, finishing third in 2010.

Lauren Mitchell, Australia. Success, Western Australia; 7-23-91. Mitchell had a very successful 2010 World Championships: she won the floor exercise title, as well as finished fourth on the balance beam and sixth in the all-around. Also in 2010, she won the all-around at the Commonwealth Games and the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise at the DTB Pokal World Cup after missing the first part of the year due to injuries. At the 2009 World Championships, she picked up silver medals for both the balance beam and floor exercise and finished fourth in the all-around. She won the 2009 Australian titles in the all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. She also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games and 2007 World Championships. She won the balance beam at the 2008 World Cup Final.

Aliya Mustafina, Russia. Moscow; 9-30-94. Mustafina captured five medals at the 2010 World Championships, two gold and three silver. She won the all-around title and helped the Russians to the team title. She finished second on vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Earlier in 2010, she finished second on the balance beam and fourth on the uneven bars at the World Cup in Paris.

Alexandra "Aly" Raisman, USA. Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; 5-25-94. Raisman was a member of the silver medal-winning team at the 2010 World Championships, where she qualified to the all-around finals and placed 13th. She also finished just out of the medals on floor exercise in fourth place. Raisman was third in the all-around, beam and floor at the 2010 Visa Championships. She took second place in the all-around at both the 2010 American Cup and Pacific Rim Championships. At the Pac Rim Championships, she also earned second place on beam and floor. At the 2010 City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, Raisman won the senior all-around title. A junior at Needham High School, Raisman is coached by Mihai Brestyan.

Elisabeth Seitz, Germany. AltluAAheim, Germany; 11-4-93. At the 2010 World Championships, Seitz was 12th in the all-around and eighth on the uneven bars. She competed in the 2010 American Cup, where she finished sixth. Seitz was third on floor, fifth on beam, and seventh on the uneven bars at the 2010 World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. She is the reigning German all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise champion. Seitz also competed in the 2009 World Championships.