© USA Gymnastics

It was the first day of training at the Sears Centre Arena for the USA men and women competing in the 2009 Tyson American Cup. Following their first of two training sessions, members of the U.S. delegation spoke to the media. Below are some quotes and photos from Thursday’s activities.



Martha Karolyi
On Bridget Sloan
“She looks good very early in the season. After only a short (post-Olympic) break, she showed up well-disciplined and ready to train, and that is the attitude we want in our girls.”

Bridget Sloan
On now being one of the older national team members
“I’m taking the lead and being responsible for more things. I’m taking on a bigger role. Martha (Karolyi) called me the ‘old-timer’ and I feel kind of like the mom for the team. It’s fun, but different, for everyone to be looking up to me.”

On future competitions
“I’m really thinking about the present. The ’09 worlds are my main focus. The 2012 Games are in a while – I will be a freshman in college. I will think about 2012 when I’m a senior in high school. I haven’t peaked yet – I’m feeling healthy and going strong.”

On competing at the 2009 Tyson American Cup
“This is my first meet (after the Olympic Games) and I want a good start. I want to hit my routines with a good, clean start. I want to get my name out in a positive way. After the Olympics, Marvin (Sharp) and I had a long talk about how I need to get better with consistency. Before I was ‘the scared one’ and now I am more confident in my routines. I want people to remember me for being confident, bringing positive energy into the meet, staying focused and keeping my composure.”

On Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games
“Having the Games in 2016 would be great for America. I won’t be competing by then, but I would definitely come to watch. It would bring back a lot of Olympic memories, and be very special to have it in the U.S. to give our athletes a home advantage.”

Jordyn Wieber
On competing at the 2009 Tyson American Cup
“This meet is an important stop on the road toward becoming a senior (competitor). It’s an important part of getting more experience. It is great that it is in Chicago – a really cool city – and all of my family can be here.”

“It’s such a rush to be at these meets and seeing the crowd.”

On the possibility of competing in the Olympic Games
“I’m not thinking about the future. Sure the Olympics are in the back of my mind, but I’m glad to put myself out there with my entire family coming to watch this weekend.”

“I have four more years (before the Olympic Games). One step and one year at a time.”




Joseph Hagerty
On competing at the Tyson American Cup
“This feels like Olympic Trials again – same atmosphere, same setting – but this is fun and the Olympic Trials was nerve-wracking.”

“I really want Sender and I do to do well. This is our meet. I always want to make all of my routines, but I want to have fun with this. I have nothing to lose.”

David Sender
On why he likes gymnastics
“I am so used to having this rush and there is not much in my life that does the same thing. I’ll have to find something else to get that rush.”

On his goals for this year
“Win or lose, I am having a good time and that is what I am looking for this year.”

David Durante (2008 Olympic Team alternate and now David Sender’s coach)
On coaching
“It was quite an adjustment after 22 years competing. I want to just go out there and show the skills rather than talking them out. It forces me to put it all into words.”

On Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games
“The bid is very impressive and I’m very hopeful that we can come away with it. We would love to see them here in Chicago. It would be a dream.”