INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 16, 2017 – More than 300 gymnasts from throughout the United States participated in the 25th annual Talent Opportunity Program’s (TOPs) National Testing this past weekend, Oct. 13-15, at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas. In honor of TOPs’ 25th anniversary, 2016 Olympic team gold-medalist Laurie Hernandez of Old Bridge, N.J., who was a TOPs A National Team member in 2009, visited during testing.

Hernandez participated in a special meet and greet session with the gymnasts who were tested. Additionally, Hernandez revealed GK Elite’s exclusive TOPs 25th anniversary leotard. GK Elite, a long-time sponsor of the TOPs program, provides all the leotards and warm-ups for TOPs athletes.

The 8-10-year-old gymnasts qualified for TOPs National Testing by placing in the top 100 of their age group in state testing. TOPS national coaching staff served as the testing evaluators under the direction of Valeri Liukin, women’s national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. The gymnasts were tested in both physical abilities and skills. Based on performances in the testing, 105 gymnasts will earn a spot on the National TOPs A (45) and B (60) Teams.

The TOPs program is designed to seek out talent at an early age and help guide the coaches through the USA Gymnastics athlete pipeline to become Hopes and elite gymnasts.

Gymnasts who participated in the two-day testing and their parents were invited to a parent meeting with Liukin, Kim Riley, managing director of athlete programs for USA Gymnastics, Tami Davis, TOPs camp coordinator, and Annie Heffernon, Junior Olympic program coordinator for USA Gymnastics. During the meeting, parents watched a film from Toby Stark, director of safe sport for USA Gymnastics, regarding USA Gymnastics’ latest safe sport policies and initiatives. Over the two-day camp, parents were invited to tour the National Team Training Center.