INDIANAPOLIS – USA Gymnastics ventures into uncharted territory this week with the live internet broadcast of Session 1 of the Men’s Winter Cup at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 6.
The webcast is the first of its kind for USA Gymnastics, which hopes to expand the viewing audience for elite gymnastics events through the worldwide medium. The webcast can be accessed at www.usa-gymnastics.org.
“The increased exposure of our events and athletes during the Olympic year through worldwide webcasts will only aid our efforts to draw more participants to our sport,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi. “The Men’s Winter Cup is a high-level event featuring some of the best men’s gymnasts in the world. We hope gymnastics fans will tune in and enjoy the broadcast, and come back for more featured events throughout the year.”
Colarossi added that future webcasts may feature such events as the Elite Podium Meet on Feb. 27, the American Classic on March 5, or the Pacific Alliance Championships, April 15-17. USA Gymnastics partnered with Digicast Corp. of Seattle to make the webcast possible.
Three-time Olympian John Roethlisberger will provide color commentary, with analysis from Jay Thornton and guest interviews between rotations. Viewers need an internet connection and Microsoft Windows Media Player to view the webcast. For optimum viewing, a minimum of 112Kbps connection and Media Player v9.0 are recommended. The webcast is aired pay-per-view for $10, and will be archived for future replays on a pay-per-view basis.
Session 1 of the Winter Cup includes the Men’s Senior National Team competing in an all-around format. Six gymnasts will be named to the 2004 U.S. National Team based on Friday’s all-around sessions, and will become eligible to represent the United States in international competitions leading up to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, June 2-5 in Nashville.
The men’s program is riding high following one of the USA’s most successful seasons. Paul Hamm won the United States’ first-ever men’s all-around gold medal at the 2003 World Championships, plus a floor exercise gold. The men’s team also captured its second consecutive team silver, highlighted by Jason Gatson’s eighth-place all-around finish, and event finals appearances by Gatson and Blaine Wilson.
The Winter Cup takes place annually at the Las Vegas Sports Center, located at 121 E. Sunset. Tickets are available at the Sports Center beginning Thursday, Feb. 5