INDIANAPOLIS, December 17, 2020 – USA Gymnastics today announced the 2021 Winter Cup will be held February 26-28 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis and will feature an expanded field that will include both men’s and women’s junior and senior artistic gymnasts.
Winter Cup will kick off the 2021 competitive season ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in July and August and the World Championships in October in Kitakyushu, Japan. This will be the first opportunity for elite U.S. gymnasts to compete following the cancellation of USA Gymnastics’ 2020 premier event season in response to the pandemic. Performances at the event will help determine the composition of the Men’s and Women’s National Teams for 2021.
“After the 2020 event season was unexpectedly cut short, we know our athletes are eager to get back into a competition setting,” said Stefanie Korepin, USA Gymnastics’ Chief Programs Officer. “Winter Cup will be the first opportunity to showcase new skills and new routines as well as all of the hard work that they have continued to pour into their gymnastics during this difficult year. We can’t wait to welcome these incredible gymnasts back to the national stage, as we kick off our 2021 premier event season in Indianapolis in February.”
This year, the Nastia Liukin Cup and Elite Team Cup will also accompany the event.
NBC will broadcast the women’s competition live on Saturday, February 27 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. The men’s all-around will air on NBCSN Friday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET preceded earlier in the day by the Nastia Liukin Cup, which will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 2:30-5 p.m. ET.
“Indiana Sports Corp and its partners are excited to welcome the Winter Cup to Indy this February,” said Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn. “Our city has a rich history of hosting Olympic sporting events and this opportunity allows us to continue that movement with USA Gymnastics.”
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the events will not be open for public attendance. More information is available at WinterCup.com.
On February 26, senior elite gymnasts will return to the national stage for the first time in more than a year with Day 1 of the men’s competition. All-around champions in the senior division will be crowned at the end of Day 1, while individual event champions will be determined by a combined two-day score following Day 2 on February 28. Performances at the 2021 Winter Cup will help determine the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team through the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships scheduled to take place June 3-6 in Fort Worth, Texas.
All current Senior National Team members, all current Junior National Team athletes that will be senior division age-eligible in 2021 and all senior division athletes who qualified to Day 2 of the 2020 Winter Cup are pre-qualified to compete in the 2021 event. Based on their performances, gymnasts may qualify for a spot at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
“First and foremost, we are thrilled to give our athletes the opportunity to get back on the competition floor for the first time in a year,” said Jason Woodnick, Vice President for Men’s Gymnastics. “We know that 2021 will not look like any year we’ve experienced before, but we hope that the ability to participate in Winter Cup and the Elite Team Cup will provide our community a small sense of normalcy, while also serving as a critical step as our top athletes prepare for major international competitions later in the year.”
Elite Team Cup
On Saturday, February 27, teams from each of the nine men’s artistic gymnastics regions will face off in this Junior Elite team competition. Each team will consist of six junior athletes. Competing Junior Elite gymnasts must be between 13-18 years of age as of May 31, 2021, and will be selected from the Regional Elite Team Program. Following the competition, awards will be presented to the top three teams.
Many of the country’s top elite gymnasts will return to action for the first time since early 2020, as women’s gymnastics makes its Winter Cup debut. Senior athletes will face off on Saturday, February 27, with junior-division gymnasts slated to compete on Sunday, February 28. All-around and individual event champions will be crowned in both divisions. Competing athletes may qualify to the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships based on their Winter Cup performances.
Results from the event will also help determine the composition of the Women’s Junior and Senior National Teams, which were last named following the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
To compete at the 2021 Winter Cup, senior athletes must have recorded an all-around score of 51.00, and junior athletes 50.50, at the 2019 U.S. Championships, a 2020/21 national qualifier or a 2021 National Team Training Camp. Gymnasts may also qualify based on combined two- or three-event scores.
“We could not be more excited to bring women’s artistic gymnastics to Winter Cup,” said Annie Heffernon, Vice President for Women’s Gymnastics. “Almost all of the top U.S. athletes have been away from the competition floor for more than a year, so this is an important opportunity to get back into a competitive environment ahead of an international season that will include an Olympic Games and a World Championships. We look forward to welcoming our elite athletes and Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers to the Indiana Convention Center as we celebrate the return of our sport in 2021.”
Nastia Liukin Cup
Winter Cup weekend will kick off with the 12th annual Nastia Liukin Cup on Friday, February 26. The competition will feature 18 junior and 18 senior USA Gymnastics Development Program athletes who qualify for the event based on their performances at a series of invitationals across the country. Series events that are cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will have their qualified spots awarded to the invitational that is geographically closest.
Gymnasts who qualify for the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite. Any proceeds from the Nastia Liukin Cup go into the Nastia Liukin Fund, a charitable fund within the National Gymnastics Foundation.
About Indiana Sports Corp.
Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.