Leyva joins impressive field for 2012 AT&T American Cup
posted on 01/24/2012

EDITORS NOTE, 2/13/12: USA Gymnastics has learned that Philipp Boy will be unable to compete at the AT&T American Cup due to a wrist injury. The replacement athlete will be announced shortly.

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 24, 2012 – 2011 World parallel bars gold-medalist Danell Leyva of Homestead, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2012 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) World Cup event, March 3 at New York City's legendary Madison Square Garden, along with 2011 World all-around silver-medalist Philipp Boy of Germany, and World all-around finalists Daniel Purvis of Great Britain, Cyril Tommasone of France and Nadine Jarosch of Germany. They join the previously announced Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA, the 2011 World all-around champion, Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, 2011 World team gold medalist, and John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./U.S. Olympic Training Center, who finished fifth in the World all-around finals, in the field for this prestigious event.

"There's no better way to start off the Olympic year than by having an impressive field for the AT&T American Cup at Madison Square Garden," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "This event will truly showcase outstanding athletic performances, and highlight some of the key athletes to watch heading into the London Olympics later this year."

The 2012 AT&T American Cup field includes six World medalists and two former Olympians. The gymnasts expected to compete in New York City are:

Men

  • USA: Danell Leyva, Miami/Team Hilton HHonors
  • USA: John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y./U.S. Olympic Training Center
  • France: Cyril Tommasone
  • Germany: Philipp Boy
  • Germany: Marcel Nguyen
  • Great Britain: Daniel Purvis
  • Ukraine: Mykola Kuksenkov
  • Ukraine: Oleg Verniaiev

Women

  • USA: Aly Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan's Gymnastics
  • USA: Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA
  • Australia: Georgia Simpson
  • Germany: Lisa Hill
  • Germany: Nadine Jarosch
  • Great Britain: Rebecca Tunney
  • Romania: Diana Chelaru
  • Romania: Larisa Iordache

For the men, the USA brings a strong duo with Leyva, the reigning U.S. all-around and World parallel bars champion, and Orozco, who had a breakout year in 2011 after finishing fifth in the all-around at the World Championships and third at the Visa Championships.

Boy comes to New York as the reigning European all-around champion and a two-time World Championships all-around silver medalist (2010-11). Purvis, fourth in the all-around at the 2011 Worlds, recently recorded the highest all-around score at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics (the Olympic test event) at the North Greenwich Arena, the gymnastics venue at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Kuksenkov, Nguyen and Tommasone, the 2011 World pommel horse silver medalist, finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Verniaiev, along with Kuksenkov, was a member of the Ukrainian team that finished fifth in Tokyo.

On the women's side, Wieber is the reigning World, U.S. and AT&T American Cup all-around champion. She and teammate Raisman helped the USA win the team title at the 2011 World Championships. Raisman, fourth in the 2011 World Championships all-around final, also won the bronze medal at the 2011 AT&T American Cup, as well as the World floor exercise bronze medal.

Jarosch finished 10th in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, and teammate Hill was a member of the German team at both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships, finishing 46th in the all-around during qualifications in 2011. Tunney, a newcomer to the British squad, is the reigning English junior all-around champion and finished sixth on the uneven bars at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics event. At the 2011 World Championships, Chelaru was a member of Romania's fourth-place team and finished eighth in the floor finals, while teammate Iordache, the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival all-around champion, is a first-year senior competitor. Simpson, who competed in the all-around at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics event, served as Australia's World team alternate in 2010.

Six gymnasts have previously participated in the American Cup: Boy, Kuksenkov, Purvis, Raisman, Tommasone and Wieber.

Gymnastics greats Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Tracee Talavera, Mary Lou Retton, Peter Vidmar, Carly Patterson, Jason Gatson, Nastia Liukin and Paul Hamm won American Cup titles in Madison Square Garden months before earning a combined 30 Olympic medals, including 13 gold.

Ticket prices range from $29.50-$225, plus applicable fees, and may be purchased charge-by-phone at 866-858-0008; online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; at the Madison Square Garden Box Office; or through participating area gymnastics clubs. In recognition of Visa's long-time support of USA Gymnastics, Visa is the preferred method of payment. For more information, go to www.attamericancup.com.

The AT&T American Cup is the first of four artistic gymnastics all-around World Cups in 2012. The next stopovers are scheduled for April 14-15 in Tokyo, Japan; Dec. 1-2 in Stuttgart, Germany; and Dec. 8 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The AT&T American Cup has been staged 11 times at Madison Square Garden and this is the sixth time New York has hosted the event in an Olympic year. Madison Square Garden was the site of the inaugural American Cup in 1976 when the USA's Bart Conner and Romania's Nadia Comaneci won the all-around titles. Madison Square Garden played host to this event in 1976-80, 1982-84, 2004 and 2008.

The USA swept the titles at the 2011 AT&T American Cup –Wieber won the women's title (her second), and Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), won the men's competition to bring his total American Cup titles to three.

Past sites for the American Cup 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, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); and Worcester, Mass. (2010).

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