1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Team celebration is planned for 2011 AT&T American Cup
posted on 02/16/2011

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 16, 2011 – A 15th anniversary celebration of the 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Team's winning the Olympic team title is planned as part of the activities surrounding the 2011 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event scheduled for March 5 at Jacksonville's (Fla.) Veterans Memorial Arena. Three athletes have been added to the AT&T American Cup field to replace gymnasts who are injured.

Jacksonville's Shannon Miller will join five of her 1996 Olympic teammates – Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug – to celebrate their outstanding achievement. In 1996, the USA won its first women's Olympic team gold medal on July 23. Millions around the world witnessed the U.S. Team's outstanding performance that built its lead over Russia in the team competition. Strug's valiant landing on her second vault despite an injured ankle produced one of the Games' lasting memories. Her 9.712 vault secured the U.S. Team's clinching the team gold medal with a 389.225 total, outscoring Russia and Romania.

"The stunning performance by these women in Atlanta is indelibly etched in U.S. Olympic history," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Not only was it a momentous occasion for USA Gymnastics and the athletes, but the entire country also became enamored with this team. They were truly magnificent, as was the moment."

"This will be a very special time," said Miller, the USA's most decorated gymnast. "It's hard to believe it was 15 years ago that we had the honor of representing our country on the world stage and bringing home Olympic gold. We're looking forward to reminiscing, catching up and watching some of the world's best gymnasts going head-to-head at the AT&T American Cup."

2010 World all-around champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia, 2010 World all-around silver-medalist Philipp Boy of Germany and 2010 World all-around bronze-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston headline the strong field. 2010 World all-around finalist Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., is the USA's female competitor. The three gymnasts added to the field are: men – Samuel Hunter of Great Britain, and Cyril Tommasone of France, who finished ninth and 13th, respectively, in the all-around at the 2010 World Championships; and women – Hannah Whelan of Great Britain, who was 16th in the 2010 World all-around finals. They replace Japan's Kohei Uchimura and China's Lu Bo and Jiang Yuyuan.

With opening ceremonies slated for 11:15 a.m., doors to the building open at 10 a.m.

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.

Two special ticket packages offer added access for the AT&T American Cup. A limited number of Shannon Miller Lifestyle VIP packages are available. Packages include VIP seats, pre-event hospitality, an autographed poster, and the opportunity to meet Shannon and other Olympians. To learn more and order this package, visit www.shannonmillerlifestyle.com. Through Ticketmaster Auction, fans submit bids for the chance to have their picture taken on the competition floor with the 2011 AT&T American Cup champions. This package also includes VIP seats, free pre-event hospitality, and a poster autographed by the athletes competing in the AT&T American Cup. For more information and to submit a bid, CLICK HERE.

For only the second time in the event's history, the AT&T American Cup is part of the FIG's World Cup series and 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.

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. Event proceeds benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, which is part of the National Gymnastics Foundation. General admission tickets for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup are $25 except for AT&T American Cup ticket holders, who may purchase them for $5 through participating gymnastics clubs (listed at www.nastialiukinsupergirlcup.com). Regular-priced tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster by phone at 800-745-3000; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; or at the Veterans Memorial Arena Box Office. Visa is the preferred method of payment.

The USA's Rebecca 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 – 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 – 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 – AT&T operating companies – 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-verse® 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 FORTUNE® 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.