INDIANAPOLIS/LAUSANNE, FIG Office, February 23, 2012: With just 155 days until the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, many of the world’s best gymnasts will begin their road to London in New York City’s legendary Madison Square Garden at the 2012 AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event scheduled for March 3.
2011 World all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA; 2011 World parallel bars champion Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics); 2011 World team champion Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics; and 2011 World team bronze-medalist John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), who finished fifth in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships, will represent the USA at this prestigious event. The international field includes gymnasts from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Romania and Ukraine.
“Fans in New York are going to see some of the world’s top gymnasts as they prepare to make history at this summer’s Olympic Games in London,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “There’s no better venue than Madison Square Garden and the AT&T American Cup to showcase this talented field of athletes. The American Cup has a storied history, especially in the Olympic year, and we don’t expect 2012 to be any different.”
Christopher Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), and Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance, are the U.S. Team alternates. They will have the opportunity to participate hors concours (outside of competition), which means Brooks and Douglas may perform exhibition routines. They will perform first on each apparatus, and while they will receive scores, their scores will not be included as part of the event’s results.
The complete field for the 2012 AT&T American Cup is as follows.
USA: Danell Leyva, Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics)
USA: John Orozco, Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center)
France: Cyril Tommasone
Germany: Marcel Nguyen
Great Britain: Daniel Purvis
Japan: Ryuzo Sejima
Ukraine: Mykola Kuksenkov
Ukraine: Oleg Verniaiev
USA, alternate: Christopher Brooks, Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics)
USA: Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s Gymnastics
USA: Jordyn Wieber, DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA
Australia: Georgia Simpson
Canada: Victoria Moors
Germany: Lisa Hill
Great Britain: Rebecca Tunney
Romania: Diana Chelaru
Romania: Larisa Iordache
USA, alternate: Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance
About the athletes
For the men, the USA brings a strong duo with Leyva, the reigning U.S. all-around and World parallel bars champion, and Orozco, who had a breakout year in 2011 by finishing fifth in the all-around at the World Championships and third at the Visa Championships. Purvis was fourth in the all-around at the 2011 Worlds and recorded the highest all-around score at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics (the Olympic test event).
Kuksenkov, Nguyen and Tommasone, the 2011 World pommel horse silver medalist, finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Verniaiev, along with Kuksenkov, was a member of the Ukrainian team that finished fifth in Tokyo. Sejima helped the Japanese to the team gold medal at the 2011 World University Games, where he was second in the floor exercise.
On the women’s side, Wieber is the reigning World, U.S. and AT&T American Cup all-around champion. She and teammate Raisman helped the USA win the team title at the 2011 World Championships. Raisman, fourth in the 2011 World Championships all-around final, also won the bronze medal at the 2011 AT&T American Cup, as well as the World floor exercise bronze medal. Hill was a member of the German team at both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships.
Tunney is the reigning English junior all-around champion and finished sixth on the uneven bars at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics event. At the 2011 World Championships, Chelaru was a member of Romania’s fourth-place team and finished eighth in the floor finals, while teammate Iordache, the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival all-around champion, is a first-year senior competitor.
Simpson, who competed in the all-around at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics event, served as Australia’s World team alternate in 2010. Moors, the 2011 Canadian junior national champion, helped Canada finish second at the 2012 Visa International Gymnastics competition to secure a team berth to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Five gymnasts have previously participated in the American Cup: Kuksenkov, Purvis, Raisman, Tommasone and Wieber.
* Universal Sports. Universal Sports television will broadcast the first 90 minutes of the AT&T American Cup live from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on March 3. The competition will be simultaneously webcast on UniversalSports.com and will be available for on-demand streaming following the broadcast. To find a Universal Sports channel in a specific area, click here.
* NBC Sports. Live coverage of the AT&T American Cup will air on NBC Sports beginning at 1 p.m. ET on March 3, immediately following the conclusion of the Universal Sports broadcast.
Ways to follow the AT&T American Cup
* Online. The 2012 AT&T American Cup is easier than ever to follow online. Schedules, general event information, the official event program, start lists, live scoring and more are available at www.attamericancup.com, which is easily viewable on smart phones and other digital devices.
* Social media. USA Gymnastics is providing live updates and exclusive content, including videos and photos, from the AT&T American Cup on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym). Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily and join the conversation on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2012 AT&T American Cup, #ATTAC.
American Cup history
The AT&T American Cup has been staged 11 times at Madison Square Garden and this is the sixth time New York has hosted the event in an Olympic year. Madison Square Garden was the site of the inaugural American Cup in 1976 when the USA’s Bart Conner and Romania’s Nadia Comaneci won the all-around titles. Madison Square Garden played host to this event in 1976-80, 1982-84, 2004 and 2008.
Past sites for the American Cup include: New York City (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008); Ft. Worth Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); and Worcester, Mass. (2010).
The 2012-2013 FIG All-around World Cup Series in men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics includes five World Cups over the period of two years. With stopovers on three continents, World Cup competitions are slated for March 3 in New York City, Dec. 1–2 in Stuttgart, Germany, and Dec. 8 in Glasgow, Scotland, for 2012, before turning to the USA in March 2013 and concluding in Tokyo in April 2013.