Event is Nov. 9-10 at War Memorial at Oncenter at 6:30 p.m.For release – November 1, 2000
Indianapolis, Ind. – The rivalry between the United States, Romania and China continues in Syracuse at the 2000 Pontiac International Team Championships, the first major gymnastics competition of the upcoming Olympic quadrennium.
The Pontiac International Team Championships features top gymnasts from the 2000 Olympic Games including Bronze Medalist HUANG Mandan (CHN), Romania’s Marian Dragulescu, Rares Orzata and Ioan Suciu and U.S. Olympic Team alternate, Jamie Natalie. This meet also marks the international debut of many American, Chinese and Romanian gymnasts who are contenders for spots on their respective teams in Athens.
“This meet is important as we build teams for the 2001 and 2003 World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Games,” said Bob Colarossi, President of USA Gymnastics. “These athletes are the stars to watch in the coming years.”
In gymnastics, it is typical to see a new generation of gymnasts emerge following the Olympic Games, particularly among women. Many athletes choose to continue their gymnastics at the collegiate level, such as U.S. National Champion Elise Ray at the University of Michigan and Kristen Maloney, Jamie Dantzscher and Alyssa Beckerman at UCLA. Other 2000 Olympic Team Members, including Morgan White, Blaine Wilson and Paul and Morgan Hamm, are currently touring the country with the T.J. Maxx Tour of World Gymnastics Champions through December.
“The athletes competing in Syracuse will be the ones vying for spots on the 2001 World Championship Team,” continued Colarossi. “This is an important chance for them to showcase their skills and prove that they are on track for Belgium.”
The 2001 World Championships are in Ghent, Belgium, October 28-November 4, 2001.

Following is the roster for the 2000 Pontiac International Team Championships:

United States Team
  • Mike Dutka, 22/Fairless Hills, Pa./Team Texaco-Houston, 1997 World Team Member
  • David Henderson, 18/Kansas City, Mo./Houston Gymnastics Academy
  • Brett McClure, 19/Mill Creek, Wash./Team Texaco-USOTC, 2000 Olympic Trials
  • Jamie Natalie, 21/Hockessin, Del./Ohio State University, 2000 Olympic Team
  • Todd Thornton, 18/Houston, Texas/Team Texaco-Houston, Junior National Champion
  • Guard Young, 23/Provo, Utah/University of Oklahoma, 2000 Olympic Trials
  • Lisa Colwell, 14/Tulsa, Okla./Krafft Academy
  • Ashley Kelly, 16/Tulsa, Okla./Krafft Academy
  • Marie Fjordholm, 17/Plano, Texas/World Olympic Gymnastics
  • Ashley Miles, 15/San Antonio, Texas/Harris Unlimited Gymnastics
  • Holly Vise, 12/Dallas, Texas/ World Olympic Gymnastics
  • The 6th U.S. Women’s athlete will be either Terin Humphrey or Lindsey Vanden Eykel (This will be determined after the Women’s training session on Thursday, Nov. 9).
Chinese Team
  • ZHAO Zhe
  • ZHANG Shangwu
  • LU Bin
  • LI Rongjie
  • YOU Yanan
  • LIU Jinyu
  • HUANG Mandan*
  • QI Linzi
  • LIU Wei
  • SUN Xiaojiao
  • PENG Sha
Romanian Team
  • Marian Dragulescu*
  • Rares Orzata*
  • Ioan Suciu*
  • Danut Coseru
  • Robert Ene
  • Adrian Radoi
    * 2000 Olympic Games Team Member
  • Carmen Ionescu
  • Sabina Cojocar
  • Alexandra Barac
  • Andreea Ulmeanu
  • Oana Petrovschi
  • Oana Ban

Competition Format

The men’s competition will take place on Thursday while the women will compete Friday. Each men’s and women’s team consists of six athletes. Five athletes compete on each individual apparatus and the top four scores count. The team with the highest point total is the overall team champion.
The 2000 Pontiac International Team Championships will be televised on NBC on December 16 at 4:00 p.m. EST and December 17 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 315-472-0700, the Oncenter box office at 315-435-2121, online at www.ticketmaster.com or from a participating gymnastics. Discount coupons are available from the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau and all Syracuse area Price Chopper locations. Two-day ticket prices are $40, $30 and $20. Single session tickets are $25, $17.50 and $12.50.