INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 31, 2012 – For the first time in the event's history, the Nastia Liukin Cup will be held in one of the most prestigious sports arenas, New York City's Madison Square Garden. At 7:30 p.m. on March 2, the gymnasts in the Nastia Liukin Cup will compete on the same equipment used by some of the world's best gymnasts at the AT&T American Cup, which will be held on March 3. Tickets for the 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup, which features some of the country's future stars, are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.
"This is an incredibly special opportunity for these young athletes," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Competing in Madison Square Garden can be a once in a lifetime experience for many athletes, and this will be a very special day for these gymnasts."
"To compete in a legendary arena like Madison Square Garden is an honor and something only a small percentage of athletes have the chance to do," said Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion. "Knowing that some of the greatest and best-known gymnasts have competed in the same place makes it very special."
Gymnasts competing in the Nastia Liukin Cup qualify through one of the invitational meets included in the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which spans from mid-January through late February. A designated number of gymnasts from each invitational will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup.
Reserved tickets for the Nastia Liukin Cup are $35, and $25 for general admission, plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 800-745-3000; online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; or at the Madison Square Garden Box Office. For more information on tickets, go to www.nastialiukincup.com. In recognition of its long-time support of USA Gymnastics, Visa is the preferred method of payment.
The invitational meets included in the 2012 Nastia Liukin Cup Series are:
- CGA Parents Club Coaches Spectacular, Covington, Ky., Jan. 13-15
- Lady Luck Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 20-22
- Atlanta Crown Invitational, Duluth, Ga., Jan. 20-22
- Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational, Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 20-22
- San Diego Classic, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 20-22
- Wisconsin Dells Gymnastics Vacation Classic, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Jan. 27-29
- Parkettes Invitational, Allentown, Pa., Jan. 27-29
- Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3-5
- 38th Annual Fiesta Bowl, Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 3-5
- Long Beach Open, Long Beach, Calif., Feb. 3-5
- Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 10-12
- IGI Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 10-12
- Glider Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 11-12
- Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-18
- Buckeye Classic, Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 17-19
- Presidential Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 17-19
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 17-19
- Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Glendale, Ariz., Feb. 17-19
Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the AT&T American Cup, and recognition for the all-around medalists during the event; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.
Portions of the proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund in partnership with the National Gymnastics Foundation.
Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin's total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin's Olympic medals are: gold - all-around; silver - team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze - floor exercise. Liukin is just the third U.S. woman to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including "Gossip Girl," "Make It or Break it," and the feature film, "Stick It." She was also chosen as one of 2009's most influential women by MSN Lifestyle. Liukin recently returned to training with an eye on the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold, she was added to the 2011-12 Women's National Team in November 2011.
AT&T American Cup. The 2011 AT&T American Cup, an FIG World Cup event, is one of the most prestigious international invitational events and features an all-around format. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport's best-known names, including Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. For more information, go to ATTAmericanCup.com.