The city of Hartford, Connecticut is going all out for the P&G Gymnastics Championships at Hartford’s XL Center, where USA Gymnastics will celebrate 50 years of champions, marking its 50th anniversary.
The 2013 U.S. men’s and women’s gymnastics champions will be crowned this week at the event. 2012 Olympic team gold-medalists McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All-Olympia and Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max, are two of the six 2012 Olympians expected to compete: Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal), the Olympic all-around bronze medalist; Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma), the 2013 AT&T American Cup champion; John Orozco of The Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), the defending all-around champion; and Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, the 2013 NCAA all-around champion.
“Hartford provides the perfect backdrop for USA Gymnastics to celebrate its Golden Anniversary,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Fans will not only get a glimpse at the past, but also see a showcase of gymnastics at the highest level as our future prepares for the Road to Rio and the 2016 Olympic Games.”
The competition schedule is: Aug. 15 – women’s gymnastics, juniors at 1 p.m. and seniors at 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 16 – men’s gymnastics, juniors at 1 p.m. and seniors at 7 p.m.; Aug. 17 – women’s gymnastics, juniors at 2 p.m. and seniors at 7:30 p.m.; and Aug. 18 – men’s gymnastics, seniors at 11:30 a.m. and juniors at 6:30 p.m. Times listed are Eastern.
This year, it will be easier than ever to follow the competition and fan events. Schedules, the official program and general information for both fan and competition activities, including start lists, live scoring and more, are available at PGChamps.com. USA Gymnastics is also providing enhanced event coverage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Fans can connect with gymnastics enthusiasts around the world by using the event’s official hashtag, #PGChamps.
Tickets are still available. Single-session tickets range in price from $20 to $99. Multi-session packages are also available: men’s package – all men’s sessions (junior and senior), Aug. 16 and 18, $85-135; women’s first day of competition package – junior and senior women’s sessions, Aug. 15, $70-125; women’s final day of competition package — junior and senior women’s sessions, Aug. 17, $85-135; and men’s and women’s package – senior women on Aug. 17 and senior men on Aug. 18, $85-135. All-session tickets, which range in price from $125-$395, are also on sale, and the top-priced ticket is for the best seat location and includes an autographed commemorative poster. Prices include facility fees and vary according to ticket location. Tickets are available through several different avenues: Ticketmaster.com; calling 1-800-745-3000; or the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center. For group tickets, please call 860-548-2000. For more information, go to PGChamps.com.
In addition to Maroney and Ross, eight other members of the U.S. National Team are expected to compete in the senior competition: Kennedy Baker of Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams; Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/Bannon’s Gymnastics; Madison Desch of Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express; Brenna Dowell of Odessa, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express; Peyton Ernst of Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams; Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters; Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes; and Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics. In addition to competing, Maroney and Ross, as part of the Fierce FiveSM, will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame and will be recognized during the Olympic celebration scheduled for the evening session on Aug. 17.
Bailie Key of Montgomery, Texas/Texas Dreams, who recently won the junior all-around title at the Secret U.S. Classic, is one of five U.S. Junior National Team members in the field. The remaining four are: Nia Dennis of Westerville, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics; Laurie Hernandez of Old Bridge, N.J./Monmouth Elite; Amelia Hundley of Hamilton, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics; and Polina Shchennikova, Arvada, Colo./TIGAR.
In addition to the four Olympians, Olympic alternates Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./University of Oklahoma, and Alex Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./USA Youth Fitness Center, both members of Team Hilton HHonors, are also scheduled to compete in Hartford.
Other senior national team members expected to compete at the P&G Championships are Adrian de los Angeles of Long Beach, Calif./University of Michigan; Sean Melton of Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Monmouth Gymnastics; Eddie Penev of Penfield, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (Stanford University); Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./ Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Gymnastics Development Center II); and Brandon Wynn of Columbus, Ohio/Team Hilton HHonors (Ohio State University).
Reigning junior champions Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./U.S. Olympic Training Center, who won the 16-18 age division at last year’s national championships, is scheduled to compete in the senior division, and last year’s 14-15 winner Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners, is set for the junior competition.
From morning fitness at the Old State House to the 50th Anniversary Museum and the Capital City’s Taste of the Championships, fans will have plenty of opportunities for fun while they enjoy the exciting week of competition in Hartford.
The following is a quick overview of the fan activities available during the P&G Championships. For the most up-to-date and complete information on all event and fan activities, go to PGChamps.com.
- Morning fitness. Downtown workers and fans can start the day off right by joining gymnastics coaches and celebrities for a free morning workout, led by local Hartford fitness fanatics and Olympian John Macready, at the Old State House. On Thursday, Aug. 15, and Friday, Aug. 16, USA Gymnastics is hosting “Get up, get fit!”, a morning fitness session from 6:30-7:30 a.m. Thursday’s session features a boot camp and Pilates, with Friday’s session including a boot camp and yoga. Companies making the sessions possible are P&G, Under Armour, Hartford Healthcare, Civic Mind, Downtown Yoga and Whole Foods.
- Capital City’s Taste of the Championships. Six restaurants are creating special menu items as part of the Capital City’s Taste of the Championships. From Aug. 15-17, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi will review and taste the signature dishes, which are also being reviewed by a nutritionist with USA Gymnastics’ partner St. Vincent Sports Performance to determine the healthiest dish. The six restaurants are: Agave, 100 Allyn St.; City Steam Brewery Café, 942 Main St.; DISH Bar & Grill, 900 Main St.; Feng Asian Bistro, 93 Asylum St.; Max Downtown, 185 Asylum St.; and Salute, 100 Trumbull St., #2.
- “Let’s Eat.” “Let’s Eat” is a network of 10 Hartford restaurants that are offering a 20-percent discount to P&G Championships ticket and credential holders, as well as those with a USA Gymnastics Congress credential. The participating restaurants are: Black Bear Saloon at 187 Allyn St.; Burger Baby at 283 Asylum St.; Carbone’s Ristorante at 588 Franklin Ave.; DISH Bar & Grill at 900 Main St.; Front Street Bistro at 39 Front St.; Hot Tomato’s at One Union Place; Peppercorn’s Grill at 357 Main St.; Salute Restaurant at 100 Trumbull St.; The Russian Lady at 100 Ann Uccello St.; and The Tavern Downtown at 201 Ann Uccello St.
- USA Gymnastics 50th anniversary museum, celebrating 50 years of champions. Open to the general public, the museum will feature a combination of pictures, historical items, mementoes and videos that tell the story of USA Gymnastics and its first 50 years of accomplishments and champions. It will also include historical leotards from GK Elite and equipment from AAI. Admission is free. The museum officially opens at 10 a.m. on Aug. 15, and several well-known gymnasts are expected to be on hand for the opening. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15, to Saturday, Aug. 17, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18. Two autograph sessions will be held each day, and the celebrity gymnasts signing autographs are expected to include Olympic gold medalists Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson and Paul Hamm; members of Team Hilton HHonors, including Olympic silver-medalist Jonathan Horton, Leyva and Orozco; and members of both the 2007 Women’s World Championships Team (team champions) and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team. Check PGChamps.com daily for the updated autograph schedule.
- USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Also at the XL Center, the 2007 Women’s World Championships Team and women’s gymnastics members of the Hall of Fame will be recognized for their achievements on Thursday, Aug. 15, with the men’s Hall of Famers introduced on Friday, Aug. 16. The Fierce Five and the 2007 Women’s World Championships Team are members of the 2013 class of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. The members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, aka the Fierce Five, are Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance, McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All-Olympia Gymnastics, Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max, and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA. The 2007 World Championships Team includes Ivana Hong of Laguna Hills, Calif., Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind., Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., and Shayla Worley of Orlando, along with alternate Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind.
- 2012 Olympic reunion. Fans will get to see Fierce Five reunited with the other eight Olympians, and the alternates, for the first time since last fall’s conclusion of the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, and help USA Gymnastics celebrate their accomplishments on Saturday, Aug. 17, at the XL Center. The members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team are: women – Douglas, Maroney, Raisman, Ross and Wieber; men –Dalton, Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), Leyva, Mikulak and Orozco; rhythmic gymnastics –Zetlin; and trampoline –Gluckstein and Vinsant. The replacement athletes who will be in attendance are: women – Sarah Finnegan of St. Louis, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, Anna Li of Aurora, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics, and Price; men –Christopher Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Academy of Gymnastics), Legendre, and Naddour; and trampoline – Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits.
- USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone. Kids can have fun and gain knowledge about the importance of fitness through the interactive USA Gymnastics Fitness Zone. The zone features activities in building strength, flexibility, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. The Fitness Zone will be featured on the concourse at the XL Center.
- WGYM. WGYM, the in-house radio broadcast for men’s and women’s gymnastics, provides running commentary on the competition, as well as fun facts about the sport and the competitors. Olympic gold medalists Amanda Borden, Paul Hamm and Shannon Miller will serve as hosts for the broadcasts. Radios will be available at the XL Center.
- Merchandise. Fans can purchase everything gymnastics from event-specific tees to 50th anniversary merchandise at the XL Center.
Television, webcast and YouTube coverage
Live podium training coverage. There will be a live web stream of both junior (9-11:30 a.m. ET) and senior (11:30-2 p.m. ET) women’s podium training from the P&G Gymnastics Championships on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Men’s podium training will also stream live with junior training scheduled for 2:30-5 p.m. ET and seniors from 5-7:30 p.m. ET. The stream will be available on PGChamps.com/live.
Live competition coverage.
NBC Sports Network and NBC will air all four senior competition sessions live. The schedule is listed below.
Aug. 15 – Women – 8 p.m. ET – NBC Sports Network
Aug. 16 – Men – 8 p.m. ET – NBC Sports Network
Aug. 17 – Women – 8 p.m. ET – NBC
Aug. 18 – Men – 1 p.m. ET – NBC
Hosted by 1996 Olympic team gold-medalist Amanda Borden, USA Gymnastics will provide live webcast coverage of all four junior competitive sessions. Two-time Olympic gold-medalist Shannon Miller, 2004 Olympic all-around champion Paul Hamm, and 2008 Olympic silver-medalists Jonathan Horton and Samantha Peszek will join Borden to provide commentary and analysis. The webcasts, which will be available on PGChamps.com, are scheduled for:
Aug. 15 – Jr. Women – 1 p.m. ET
Aug. 16 – Jr. Men – 1 p.m. ET
Aug. 17 – Jr. Women – 2 p.m. ET
Aug. 18 – Jr. Men – 6:30 p.m. ET
USA Gymnastics on YouTube. USA Gymnastics will post coverage of the P&G Championships, including nearly every competition routine, after the conclusion of the event, interviews from media day and post-competition, and clips from podium training.
Connecticut Convention Center. The Connecticut Convention Center, which has a total of 540,000 sq. ft. space, is the site for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show. The facility offers an outdoor esplanade overlooking the Connecticut River and is connected to both the Marriott Hartford Downtown and the Connecticut Science Center.
XL Center. The XL Center, managed by Global Spectrum (a division of Comcast Spectacor), will host two days of competition for both men's and women's gymnastics. The XL Center is home to the University of Connecticut Men's & Women's Basketball teams along with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Rangers. In addition to resident teams, the XL Center entertains millions of visitors annually with a variety of concerts, family shows, sporting events, consumer & trade shows. The XL Center is Connecticut's home for premier sports & entertainment.
USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Originally called the U.S. Gymnastics Federation, the USGF was established in Tucson, Ariz., and opened its first office in the home of Frank Bare, the new executive director, in January 1963. The Board of Directors began the task of creating a viable national program for gymnastics in the United States. Due to the hard work of U.S. gymnastics pioneers – Frank Bare, Paul Fina, Harold Frey, Charlie Pond and Gene Wettstone, to name a few – the USGF replaced the Amateur Athletic Union as the sport’s national governing body and gained membership in the International Gymnastics Federation in 1970. The USGF began doing business as USA Gymnastics in 1993. Trampoline and tumbling joined USA Gymnastics in 1999, just prior to trampoline’s addition to the Olympic program, and acrobatic gymnastics became the newest discipline in 2002. During the last 50 years, the sport has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, approximately 127,000 athletes and professionals and nearly 2,500 clubs are members of USA Gymnastics. That number includes more than 96,000 athletes registered in competitive programs. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics. For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.