INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 10, 2007 – Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex, have been selected to represent the United States in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2007 Pan American Games, July 13-29, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pending the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Wang and Zetlin, along with Ava Gehringer of Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, who was named the replacement athlete, were selected by a committee based on performances at a selection camp held at the Elite Sports Complex in Downers Grove, Ill. Coaches for the team are Natalia Klimouk of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Buffalo Grove and Olga Kutuzova of Rhythmflex in Gaithersburg, Md.
"Competing in the Pan Am Games is a fantastic opportunity for Lisa and Julie to gain valuable international experience prior to the World Championships this fall," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. " I am confident they will represent our country well."
Wang is the 2006 U.S. titlist in the all-around, ball and ribbon and was a member of the U.S. Team that won the title at the 2005 Pan American Championships. Zetlin won both clubs and rope at the 2006 Visa Championships to claim top U.S. honors. At the 2007 Rhythmic Challenge, Wang and Zetlin finished one-two, respectively, in the all-around.
Elite Sports Complex, which hosted the selection camp, is one of the only facilities in the United States that was specifically built for rhythmic gymnastics. It was built for the 1996 Olympic Rhythmic Group Team and has since become a thriving sport center.
Pending USOC approval, USA Gymnastics has already named the teams for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics and trampoline.
The six-man Pan Am Team 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 six women on the Pan Am Team are: Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas/WOGA; Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE; Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics; Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas/WOGA; Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind./DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics; and Amber Trani of Richlandtown, Pa./Parkettes. The replacement athletes are Sarah DeMeo of Overland Park, Kan./GAGE; and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy.
For trampoline, the four athletes are: men- Chris Estrada of Lafayette, La., and Ryan Weston of Chubbuck, Idaho; and women- Brittany Dircks of Orland Park, Ill., and Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas. All four trampolinists train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.