MARIETTA, Ga., May 9, 2013 – More than 120 gymnasts competed in the USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships, held May 4, 2013, at the Cobb County Gymnastics Center in Marietta, Ga. The one-day event featured competition in artistic gymnastics (men, women and unified), rhythmic gymnastics (individual, group and unified) and TeamGym. The competition wrapped up with a gala, which involved all of the athletes.
The top finishers in each category were: Marc Janovics of Illinois, men’s artistic; Chelsea Werner of California, women’s artistic; Christina Judd Campbell of Canada, rhythmic gymnastics; and Chattooga Galaxy, TeamGym (featuring Karen Davis, Lani DeMello, Khalilah Greer, Paulette Harrison, Mandy Hoopingarner, Katie Kludt, Shannon Laffey and Dana Misitano).
Twenty volunteers served as judges in the event, which featured athletes from 12 states and Canada. The USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships was hosted locally by Chattooga Gymnastics, Special Olympics Georgia and Cobb County Special Olympics Gymnastics Team. Procter & Gamble provided a variety of products to the athletes, coaches, judges and moms. A sponsor of USA Gymnastics, P&G is one of Special Olympics’ longstanding partners and has supported the movement for more than 32 years.
“I believe the USA Gymnastics Special Olympics is important because it showcases the abilities, rather than the disabilities, of athletes,” said Cindy Bickman, meet director and owner of Chattooga School of Gymnastics and Dance. “I was really proud of the Cobb team. The more experienced team members not only competed, but they also helped coach, distributed awards and served as great role models for the spectators and volunteers.”
The artistic competition is for skill Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4, with rhythmic gymnastics for Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Competition includes both individual and Unified gymnasts. A Unified gymnast is a partner without intellectual disabilities who will compete the same routine as the Special Olympics athlete, and the pair’s scores will be combined for a team total. For rhythmic group, there are an equal number of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners in each group.
TeamGym is a competitive version of group gymnastics that features squads of athletes performing together in two events Aca a