© John Cheng
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 24, 2011 – Many of the world's best gymnasts are heading to Jacksonville's (Fla.) Veterans Memorial Arena for the 2011 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event scheduled for March 5. 2010 World all-around champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia, 2010 World all-around silver-medalist Philipp Boy of Germany, 2010 World all-around bronze-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston and 2010 World all-around finalist Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., are among the 16-gymnast field that includes 10 World medalists and seven 2008 Olympians.
"Fans in Jacksonville will get an up-close look at some of the best gymnasts in the world," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "These outstanding athletes are likely to be among those going head to head at the London Olympics a little over a year from now, and the AT&T American Cup will be a true showcase of their talent."
The 16 gymnasts who are confirmed to compete in Jacksonville are listed below.
- USA: Jonathan Horton, Houston
- France: Cyril Tommasone
- Germany: Philipp Boy
- Great Britain: Samuel Hunter
- Great Britain: Daniel Purvis
- Japan: Koji Uematsu
- Russia: Sergey Khorokhordin
- Ukraine: Mykola Kuksenkov
- USA: Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass.
- Australia: Lauren Mitchell
- China: Huang Quishuang
- Great Britain: Nicole Hibbert
- Great Britain: Hannah Whelan
- Russia: Aliya Mustafina
- Switzerland: Ariella Kaeslin
- Venezuela: Jessica Lopez
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 March 5 activities. 1996 Olympic teammates Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug will be on hand to celebrate their outstanding achievement of winning the USA's first women's Olympic team gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Millions around the world witnessed the U.S. Team's outstanding performance that bested Russia in the team competition.
With opening ceremonies slated for 11:15 a.m., doors to the building open at 10 a.m. The fan activities on the concourse include autograph opportunities with 2010 World vault champion Alicia Sacramone and 2005 World all-around champion Chellsie Memmel, the USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone and much more.
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.
A special VIP ticket package offers added access for the AT&T American Cup. A limited number of Shannon Miller Lifestyle VIP packages are available and 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.
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 were 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. The gymnasts qualified for the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup through 17 invitationals in the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup Series. 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. Event proceeds benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, which is part of the National Gymnastics Foundation.
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).
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.