USA Gymnastics begins Olympic year at AT&T American Cup
posted on 02/23/2012

© John Cheng

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 23, 2012 – With just 155 days until the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, many of the world's best gymnasts will begin their road to London in New York City's legendary Madison Square Garden at the 2012 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event scheduled for March 3. 2011 World all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA; 2011 World parallel bars champion Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics); 2011 World team champion Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics; and 2011 World team bronze-medalist John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), who finished fifth in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships, will represent the USA at this prestigious event. The international field includes gymnasts from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Romania and Ukraine.

"Fans in New York are going to see some of the world's top gymnasts as they prepare to make history at this summer's Olympic Games in London," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "There's no better venue than Madison Square Garden and the AT&T American Cup to showcase this talented field of athletes. The American Cup has a storied history, especially in the Olympic year, and we don't expect 2012 to be any different."

Christopher Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), and Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance, are the U.S. Team alternates. They will have the opportunity to participate hors concours (outside of competition), which means Brooks and Douglas may perform exhibition routines. They will perform first on each apparatus, and while they will receive scores, their scores will not be included as part of the event's results.

The complete field for the 2012 AT&T American Cup is as follows.

    Men
    USA: Danell Leyva, Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics)
    USA: John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center)
    France: Cyril Tommasone
    Germany: Marcel Nguyen
    Great Britain: Daniel Purvis
    Japan: Ryuzo Sejima
    Ukraine: Mykola Kuksenkov
    Ukraine: Oleg Verniaiev
    USA, alternate: Christopher Brooks, Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics)

    Women
    USA: Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan's Gymnastics
    USA: Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA
    Australia: Georgia Simpson
    Canada: Victoria Moors
    Germany: Lisa Hill
    Great Britain: Rebecca Tunney
    Romania: Diana Chelaru
    Romania: Larisa Iordache
    USA, alternate: Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance

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.

Doors to Madison Square Garden open at 10 a.m., and the opening ceremonies are slated for 11:15 a.m. with competition starting at 11:30 a.m.

Fan Activities

USA Gymnastics will be hosting a number of fan activities on the concourse of Madison Square Garden prior to and during the competition. Here's a quick overview of the fan activities available during the AT&T American Cup.

  • AT&T Fan Zone. USA Gymnastics fans can get an up-close and personal look inside the lives of USA Gymnastics athletes at AT&T's Fan Zone. Fans can pose for commemorative photos, receive autographs from Olympians, and try their luck at trivia with iconic Olympic and USA Gymnastics symbols. AT&T will also feature the newest it has to offer in technology, allowing fans to interact with latest and greatest. For more behind-the-scenes looks of U.S. Olympic athletes, check out AT&T's website, http://uverseonline.att.net/sports/network/fanzone.

  • Giveaways. The first 4,000 fans inside Madison Square Garden will receive a free, commemorative AT&T American Cup athlete roster and poster featuring Wieber, Raisman, Leyva and Orozco. Additionally, fans can pick up product samples from AT&T, Proctor & Gamble, Hilton and Kellogg's.

  • WGYM. Two-time Olympic gold-medalist Shannon Miller and 2007 U.S. all-around champion David Durante will host WGYM, the in-house radio broadcast for the AT&T American Cup. WGYM provides running commentary on the competition, as well as fun facts about the sport and the competitors. Radios will be available at Madison Square Garden for $10 or bundled with an event tee-shirt.

  • USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone. Kids can have fun and gain knowledge about the importance of fitness through the interactive USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone. The zone features activities in building strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise, along with teaching the basic handstand, which is fundamental to all of gymnastics. The Fitness Zone will be featured on the concourse at Madison Square Garden.

  • Art of the Olympians. The art of Al Oerter, four-time Olympic discus gold medalist and Art of the Olympians founder, will be displayed on the concourse of Madison Square Garden during the AT&T American Cup. Painting reproductions by Oerter will also be available for purchase.

  • In-arena fun and giveaways. Olympian John Macready will rev up the crowd as meet emcee with fun interactive activities and tee-shirt tosses into the crowd.

  • Merchandise. Fans can purchase everything gymnastics from event-specific tees to the newest adidas leotards at booths in Madison Square Garden. USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa.

About the athletes
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 by finishing fifth in the all-around at the World Championships and third at the Visa Championships. Purvis was fourth in the all-around at the 2011 Worlds and recorded the highest all-around score at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics (the Olympic test event). 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. Sejima helped the Japanese to the team gold medal at the 2011 World University Games, where he was second in the floor exercise.

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. Hill was a member of the German team at both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. Tunney 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. Moors, the 2011 Canadian junior national champion, helped Canada finish second at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics competition to secure a team berth to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

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

Television coverage

  • Universal Sports. Universal Sports television will broadcast the first 90 minutes of the AT&T American Cup live from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on March 3. The competition will be simultaneously webcast on UniversalSports.com and will be available for on-demand streaming following the broadcast. To find a Universal Sports channel in a specific area, click here.
  • NBC Sports. Live coverage of the AT&T American Cup will air on NBC Sports beginning at 1 p.m. ET on March 3, immediately following the conclusion of the Universal Sports broadcast.

Ways to follow the AT&T American Cup

  • Online. The 2012 AT&T American Cup is easier than ever to follow online. Schedules, general event information, the official event program, start lists, live scoring and more are available at www.attamericancup.com, which is easily viewable on smart phones and other digital devices.

  • Social Media. USA Gymnastics is providing live updates and exclusive content, including videos and photos, from the AT&T American Cup on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym). Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily and join the conversation on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2012 AT&T American Cup, #ATTAC.

American Cup history
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.

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).

The 2012-2013 FIG All-around World Cup Series in men's and women's artistic gymnastics includes five World Cups over the period of two years. With stopovers on three continents, World Cup competitions are slated for March 3 in New York City, Dec. 1–2 in Stuttgart, Germany, and Dec. 8 in Glasgow, Scotland, for 2012, before turning to the USA in March 2013 and concluding in Tokyo in April 2013.

Nastia Liukin Cup
The Nastia Liukin Cup, which features 34 of the country's best Level 10 gymnasts, will be staged on March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The gymnasts qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup through designated Nastia Liukin Cup Series invitationals. 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. Universal Sports will provide a live broadcast and a simultaneous web stream of the event, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Event proceeds benefit the Nastia Liukin Fund, which is part of the National Gymnastics Foundation.

 

Background information

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  • Madison Square Garden Company. The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the company's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis, as well as MSG Action Sports, an action sports and lifestyle division. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG's venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in MSG's diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

  • International Gymnastics Federation (FIG): The International Gymnastics Federation is the governing body for gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international sports federation and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs seven disciplines: gymnastics for all, men's artistic, women's artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, aerobic and acrobatic. It counts 130 national affiliated federations and boasts a 25-person staff at its international seat in Lausanne, Switzerland, host city of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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