INDIANAPOLIS, July 28, 2016 – USA Gymnastics announced today the schedule for the 2017 Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which kicks off January 6, 2017. The invitational meets in the Series will determine the gymnasts who will compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup inside Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on March 3, 2017. The 2017 event, started in 2010 by 2008 Olympic all-around gold-medalist Nastia Liukin, is the eighth annual edition.
For the second straight year, Newark’s Prudential Center will host both the Nastia Liukin Cup and, on the following day, the 2017 American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, which will feature some of the world’s biggest names in gymnastics.
The 36 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features 26 of the country’s top gymnastics invitationals held throughout the United States. The Nastia Liukin Cup Series kicks off on Jan. 6, with two invitationals, and the final Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers will be determined at five invitationals held just two weeks before the Nastia Liukin Cup. The invitationals participating in the Cup Series are listed below with the number of qualifiers in parentheses.
- Atlanta Crown Invitational, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 6-8 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Twistars Invitational, Dimondale, Mich., Jan. 6-8 (1 Sr.)
- Brestyan’s Invitational, Medford, Mass., Jan. 13-15 (1 Jr.)
- Lady Luck Invitational, Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 13-15 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- CGA Coaches’ Spectacular, Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 13-15 (1 Jr.)
- Legacy Elite Winter Classic, Chicago, Ill., Jan 13-15 (1 Sr.)
- Star Struck Invitational, Atlantic City, N.J., Jan. 13-15 (1 Sr.)
- Tampa Bay Turners Invitational, Bradenton, Fla., Jan. 13-15 (1 Jr.)
- Sand Dollar Invitational, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20-22(1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Kim Zmeskal’s Texas Prime Meet, Irving, Texas, Jan 20-22 (1 Jr.)
- Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Chandler, Ariz., Jan. 27-29 (1 Sr.)
- Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational, Indianapolis, Jan. 27-29 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 27-29 (1 Sr.)
- Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational, Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 3 – 5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Buckeye Classic, Columbus Ohio, Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Chow’s Challenge, Galveston, Texas, Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr.)
- Pikes Peak Cup, Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 3-5 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Classic Spectacular, Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 3-5 (1 Sr.)
- Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif., Feb. 10-12(1 Jr.)
- Chicago Style, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 10-12 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 10-12 ( 1 Sr.)
- Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash., Feb. 17-19 (1 Sr.)
- Magical Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr.)
- Excalibur Cup, Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr.)
- Presidential Classic, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 17-20 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
- WOGA Classic, Frisco, Texas, Feb. 17-19 (1 Jr., 1 Sr.)
A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts will advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger.
Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the Nastia Liukin Cup; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.
Tickets for the Nastia Liukin Cup will go on sale this fall through gymnastics clubs participating in the American Cup discount ticket program, and will go on sale to the general public after the first of the year.
A portion of the proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup benefits the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund in partnership with the National Gymnastics Foundation (www.usagym.org/foundation).
Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin’s total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin’s Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin was the third of four U.S. women to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including "Gossip Girl," "Make It or Break It," and the feature film, "Stick It." Liukin currently serves as a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports and was a special contributor during NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. In 2012, she was a member of the creative team and a cast member for the Kellogg’s Tour of Olympic Champions, a national, 40-city tour that followed the 2012 Olympic Games. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.
American Cup. The 2017 American Cup, a FIG World Cup event, is one of the most prestigious international invitational events and features an all-around format. The list of former champions comprises some of the sport’s best-known names, including Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Jonathan Horton, Bart Conner, Paul Hamm, Shawn Johnson, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton and Peter Vidmar. For more information, go to attamericancup.com.
Prudential Center. Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 200 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 10 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venue’s Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes more than two million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and Facebook, and follow @PruCenter on Twitter.