INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 11, 2009 – More than 200 acrobatic gymnasts from around the world and the USA will compete at the 2009 Freedom Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, scheduled for July 10-12 at The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minn. Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 15.
This is the first year the Freedom Cup has achieved World Cup status, and the expected number of athletes will make it the largest in the event’s history. The U.S. Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships, which showcase the nation’s top acrobatic gymnasts, will be held July 12-16 in conjunction with the Freedom Cup.
"The Freedom Cup will have many of the best acrobatic gymnasts from around the globe," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "And the Junior Olympics showcases our top rising stars. Fans in Saint Paul will be impressed by the strength, balance and grace of acrobatic gymnastics, and we encourage fans to come out and support these outstanding athletes."
" We look forward to welcoming the Freedom Cup and Junior Olympic National Championships to Saint Paul in July," said Karolyn Kirchgesler, president and CEO of the Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Authority. " Minnesotans will be energized by the high level of competition and we are sure the competitors and fans will have a wonderful time in Saint Paul."
The Freedom Cup includes competition in three age divisions: age-group, junior and senior. The event schedule is: preliminary round on Friday, July 10, and Saturday, July 11; and final round on Sunday, July 12. This is the event’s fourth edition.
The Junior Olympics features competition in Levels 5-10, junior elite and senior elite, and serves as a qualifying event for the 2009 Visa Championships, scheduled for Aug. 12-15 in Dallas, Texas.
Tickets for the Freedom Cup are $50 for an all-session package and $15-25 for a single-day ticket and are available at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For group ticket information, call (651) 312-3486. Discounted tickets are available through participating area gymnastics clubs. Tickets for the Junior Olympic National Championships will be available onsite.
Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. 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. The combined routine unites elements of balance and dynamic.
An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner. Bases generally are older athletes who display strength and balance and top partners generally are younger athletes who display flexibility and agility. Middle partners often are required to show a combination of all attributes.
Acrobatic gymnastics gained valuable exposure and fans across the country when former world champions Arthur Davis and Shenea Booth made it to the finals of " America’s Got Talent" on NBC in 2006. The duo received praise and a following for their inventive and dynamic routines.