David Durante, Photo A A(C) Steve Lange
© Steve Lange

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 11, 2007 – USA Gymnastics has selected the six men it will nominate to the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the United States in gymnastics at the 2007 Pan American Games, July 13-29, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pending the USOC’s approval, the six-man Pan Am squad is comprised of: Guillermo Alvarez of Denver/Team Chevron; David Durante of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron; Sean Golden of Camden, N.J./Gattaca; Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M./Team Chevron; Justin Spring of Burke, Va./Team Chevron; and Todd Thornton of Houston/Team Chevron. The replacement athletes are Sho Nakamori of Albany, Calif./Stanford University, and Bryant Hadden of Wichita, Kan./Stanford University. The coaches for the team are Mike Burns of Minneapolis, who is the head men’s gymnastics coach for the University of Minnesota, and Alex Shchennikov of Colorado Springs, who is on the gymnastics coaching staff at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

" The Pan Am Games is a great opportunity for these men to expand their international experience," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "All of them have the potential to medal as a team and as individuals and will proudly represent our country."

Alvarez, who won the all-around at the U.S. Men’s Qualifier, was a member of the U.S. Team for the 2006 World Championships, where he advanced to the all-around finals. Golden, Spring and Thornton were members of the 2005 U.S. World Championships Team. Spring recently finished second on the horizontal bar at the World Cup event in Moscow. Golden advanced to the vault finals at the 2005 World Cup in Cottbus, Germany. Thornton was the all-around champion at the 2005 Visa Championships and he advanced to the all-around finals at the 2005 World Championships.

Durante is making his second appearance at the Pan Am Games. He was second in the all-around in 2003. Since then, he has competed in numerous international competitions, including the Tyson American Cup and the Pacific Alliance Championships. Durante and Hagerty both competed on the team that won the team gold medal at the 2005 Pan American Championships.

The athletes were chosen based on performances at the 2007 U.S. Men’s Qualifier, held this past weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo. The dates for artistic gymnastics at the Pan Am Games are July 14-17, and the competition will be held at the Rio Olympic Arena.

The U.S. Women’s Team for the Pan American Games will be named following the Pan Am Selection Training Camp, June 30-July 3, at the Women’s National Training Center. The 12 women on the Pan Am Training Squad are: Rebecca Bross, Plano, Texas/WOGA; Sarah DeMeo, Overland Park, Kan./GAGE; Ivana Hong, Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE; Shawn Johnson, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics; Natasha Kelley, Katy, Texas/Stars Gymnastics; Nastia Liukin, Parker, Texas/WOGA; Hilary Mauro, West Chester, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy; Samantha Peszek, Indianapolis, Ind./DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics; Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy; Amber Trani, Richlandtown, Pa./Parkettes; Cassandra Whitcomb, Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy; Shayla Worley, Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro. The athletes for rhythmic gymnastics will be named later this month after a selection camp, and the trampoline athletes will be announced in the near future.