INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 3, 2019 – St. Louis, Mo., will be the USA’s hub for all things gymnastics in June 2020. Just prior to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, St. Louis will stage the 2020 USA Gymnastics Championships, which features more than 1,600 of the nation’s best gymnasts in acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. Held at the America’s Center Convention Complex and the Dome June 17-21, the five-day national championships includes both Junior Olympic and elite levels for all three disciplines. The championships also will serve as the 2020 Olympic selection event for rhythmic gymnastics, and the rhythmic gymnasts who will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team will be named at the conclusion of the competition.
Also, if the USA qualifies for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in trampoline, the USA Gymnastics Championships will serve as the conclusion of its Olympic selection process, and the U.S. trampoline gymnasts nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team will be named at the event.
“Holding the USA Gymnastics Championships in St. Louis is a great prelude to the Trials,” said Stefanie Korepin, the chief programs officer for USA Gymnastics. “The USA qualified for two individual berths to the Olympic Games for rhythmic gymnastics, and we are hopeful that our gymnasts also will qualify the USA for the Olympics in both trampoline and group rhythmic gymnastics. The championships is the final selection event for rhythmic gymnastics and possibly trampoline, which means all 2020 U.S. Olympians for gymnastics will be nominated in St. Louis.
“Also, the USA Gymnastics Championships provides families with a fun opportunity to watch three exciting gymnastics disciplines that may be new to them,” said Korepin, “and see deserving athletes make the Olympic team.”
The St. Louis Sports Commission is the local partner for the event. St. Louis has hosted several USA Gymnastics events, including the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – men’s gymnastics and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Championships, 2012 and 2016 Tour of Gymnastics Champions, and 2000 and 2012 U.S. Championships.
“We are excited to enhance the experience for the premier gymnasts in acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling, as they are vying for U.S. titles, as well as spots on the U.S. Olympic Team for rhythmic gymnastics and potentially trampoline,” said Chris Roseman, vice president of the St. Louis Sports Commission. “Hosting the USA Gymnastics Championships the week before the Trials adds to an already exceptional stretch of events for the St. Louis region.”
For each discipline’s junior and senior elite levels, the athletes will vie for national titles. Performances in St. Louis also will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. The USA Gymnastics Championships is part of the 2020 Olympic team selection process for the 2020 Games for rhythmic gymnastics and, pending qualification to the Games, trampoline. The Olympic selection process for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline is outlined in the respective selection procedures. The Junior Olympic age-group division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline.
The senior elite competition is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT on June 19-21. The finals are on June 21, when the senior U.S. champions and national teams, and any gymnasts who earn a berth to Tokyo, will be announced. All team nominations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team are pending approval by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
The complete competition schedule for the championships will be available in the near future, and tickets will go on sale in 2020.
The USA Gymnastics Championships was first held in 2014 at the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. Past sites are Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex (2015, 2018), Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center (2016), Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center (2017), and Des Moines’ Iowa Events Center (2019).
Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes – a base, middle and top partner – while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.
Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with the apparatus in a choreographed routine to music. The five apparatus used in rhythmic gymnastics are rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon. Rhythmic gymnasts may compete individually or as a group. The choreography must cover the entire floor with intricate apparatus handling, dance combinations, jumps, leaps, rotations, and balance difficulties. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.
Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up more than 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.
- St. Louis Sports Commission. The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that grows, strengthens and moves St. Louis forward through sports. The organization uses the power of sports to enhance the area’s quality of life and generate economic and social benefit for the St. Louis region. For more information, visit stlsports.org.
- America’s Center Convention Complex and the Dome. The America’s Center Convention Complex, which is managed and operated by Explore St. Louis, features 502,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and is home to four distinct meeting facilities under one roof: Cervantes Convention Center, The Dome at America’s Center, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center and the Ferrara Theatre. The Dome at America’s Center has hosted numerous professional, collegiate and amateur sporting events; major conventions; trade shows; and exhibitions as well as events as varied as concerts and motocross races. In addition, the complex features six exhibit halls, a ballroom, and more than 80 meeting rooms.
- USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its athlete safety policies and procedures, including adopting the updated USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy. Former gymnast and business executive Li Li Leung is the new president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, visit usagym.org.