INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16, 2012 More than 400 gymnasts are expected to head to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in trampoline and tumbling’s 2012 U.S. Elite Challenge, March 30-April 1. Held at the Tulsa Convention Center, the three-day event showcases the USA’s best in men’s and women’s trampoline, tumbling, synchronized trampoline and double mini-trampoline. The U.S. Elite Challenge is one of three events that are part of the selection process for the U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline.

In addition to the junior and senior elite levels, the U.S. Elite Challenge also includes athletes in Levels 8-10 and the Olympic Development Program. The four events for the elite and Olympic Development Program levels will have both preliminary and final rounds.

The local organizations that are assisting with the hosting and staging of the U.S. Elite Championships are the Tulsa Metro Chamber, Tulsa Sports Commission, Visit Tulsa and the Tulsa Convention Center.

One man and one woman will represent the United States in trampoline at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The U.S. Elite Challenge is the first of three qualifying events for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline. The other two events are the Stars and Stripes Cup, May 11-13, and a final selection event held in conjunction with the U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, June 27-28. Athletes earn points based on their finishes at the three selection events, with points earned at two of the three competitions counting toward the final ranking.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 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.