© John Cheng

INDIANAPOLIS, May 22, 2012 – Nine current and former World Championships gold medalists are expected to compete in the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic Saturday, including reigning World team and all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA. The Secret U.S. Classic, which is sponsored by Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant/Deodorant, will be held at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus’ Pavilion and is the final opportunity for female gymnasts to qualify to the 2012 Visa Championships in St. Louis, Mo., June 7-10.

Wieber is joined by fellow 2011 World team champions Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance; Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite, alternate; McKayla Maroney of Laguna Niguel, Calif./AOGC, who is also the World vault champion; Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, floor exercise World bronze medalist; and Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y./Dynamic.

2008 Olympic all-around champion and two-time World balance beam champion Nastia Liukin of Plano, Texas/WOGA is scheduled to compete for the first time since the 2009 Visa Championships. Liukin’s 2008 Olympic teammates Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis./M & M Gymnastics, the 2005 World all-around champion, and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s Gymnastics, the 2009 World all-around champion, are expected to compete as well. Also in the field is six-time World medalist Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas/WOGA.

Brandie Jay of Colorado Springs, Colo./GK Gymnastics, and Grace McLaughlin of Allen, Texas/WOGA, who along with Sloan won the team gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games, are expected to compete. Also expected to contend is first year senior competitor Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics, winner of the junior division all-around title at the 2009-10 Visa Championships and the CoverGirl Classic in 2011 and 2009.

In the junior division, reigning U.S. junior all-around champion Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA, is set to compete along with fellow 2012 Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championships team gold medalists Amelia Hundley of Hamilton, Ohio, and Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio, both of whom train at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. Junior national team members Madison Desch of Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, and Bailie Key of Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams, have also registered for the event.

Three price levels are available for both single-session and full-day tickets. Full-day tickets, which include admission to both the junior and senior elite sessions, are $60, $50 and $40, including facility fees. Single session tickets are $30, $25 and $20 for the junior session, and $40, $30 and $25 for the senior session, including facility fees. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800.745.3000, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. In recognition of Visa’s long-time support of USA Gymnastics, Visa is the preferred method of payment.

The senior session of the Secret U.S. Classic will be broadcast live on Universal Sports. There will also be a free live webcast on UniversalSports.com.

USA Gymnastics is partnering with World Sport Chicago to bring the Secret U.S. Classic to Chicago. The two organizations worked together on the 2009 American Cup, the 2009-10 Chicago Cup and the 2010-11 CoverGirl Classic.

The May 26 competition schedule is 11:30 a.m. for the junior session and 5 p.m. for the senior session. All times are Central. The U.S. Challenge is held in conjunction with the Secret U.S. Classic on May 25.

The 2012 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, are June 7-10 in St. Louis, Mo., and performances determine which athletes advance to the U.S. Olympic Trials, June 28-July 1, in San Jose, Calif. The U.S. champions for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics are determined at the Visa Championships. For complete information on the Visa Championships, visit www.usagym.org/visa.

Background information

  • UIC Pavilion. Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago–just minutes from Downtown. The UIC Pavilion is one of the Midwest’s finest arenas. In its brief history, it has hosted many special or one-of-a-kind programs. The UIC Pavilion hosts concerts, UIC sports, boxing, meetings, festivals, and corporate, civic, and cultural events. The UIC Pavilion is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena, located at 525 S. Racine Street Chicago IL, 60607.

  • World Sport Chicago. World Sport Chicago, the legacy of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid, believes that sport has the power to transform lives and is dedicated to helping children in Chicago find a sport to meet their interests and abilities. The organization promotes the Olympic ideals of fitness, education and well-being by working with partner organizations to launch or expand sport programs for kids. WSC is working to introduce Chicago’s youth to the fun and benefit of sports and the ideals of fair play, teamwork, respect and leadership.

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