USA Gymnastics has awarded four international events in 2014 to the Daytona Beach (Fla.) Ocean Center: the World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, Nov. 7-9; the World Trampoline and Tumbling Age Group Competition, Nov. 14-16; and the 2014 Junior Pan American Championships and Stars and Stripes Cup, May 9-11.
“Daytona Beach has truly stepped up for USA Gymnastics, and we are excited to partner with such a fun destination,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “We look forward to bringing the world’s best gymnasts to Daytona Beach and hope the community will come out and support these athletes.”
Daytona Beach is no stranger as a host for gymnastics events because the community has already staged the 2010 Senior Pan American Trampoline and Tumbling Championships and 2013 Stars and Stripes Cup (trampoline/tumbling) and will host the 2015 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships.
The World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, held annually except in the Olympic year, determines the men’s and women’s World champions in four events: trampoline, synchronized trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline. The World Age Group Competition showcases the world’s best boys and girls in those four events in four age groups: 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18 years of age. The two events are expected to showcase more than 1,100 athletes.
The Junior Pan Am Championships is the qualifying event for North, Central and South America in rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. The Stars and Stripes Cup is an international competition for rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling. The two events will be held concurrently. Both of the events combined represents nearly 1,000 athletes, coaches and officials.
The local partners for these events include the Central Florida Sports Commission, the Ocean Center, Volusia County and the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and National Travel Systems is a partner for the World Championships and World Age Group Competition.
“We are delighted to welcome these four prestigious events to Volusia County, something that would not have been possible without the partnership between USA Gymnastics, the Sports Commission, the Ocean Center, Volusia County Government, Daytona Beach CVB and the Volusia County hotel community,” said John Bisignano, president and CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “Together, these events will have a positive economic impact for the region. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure the success of these international events in our community, as we serve our mission to drive economic development through sports.”
World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships/World Age Group Competition
The 30th World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships and 23rd World Age Group Competition showcase the world’s best athletes in trampoline, synchronized trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline. The International Gymnastics Federation awarded the event to the United States at its Executive Committee meeting last month.
The World Championships competition schedule for Nov. 7-9 is still being finalized, but the first day is traditionally qualification rounds, with finals spread over the last two days. The World Age Group Competition, slated for Nov. 13-16., has qualification rounds and finals every day.
In 2013, the World Championships featured teams from 39 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the USA. The United States won three gold medals – men’s and women’s double mini-trampoline team titles and Kristle Lowell of Three Rivers, Mich./Branch Gymnastics, women’s double-mini – and one silver (Alex Renkert of Indianapolis/Geist Sports Academy, men’s double-mini). The USA also qualified its first male athlete to the trampoline finals in more than a decade. The World Age Group Competition had competitors from 41 countries, and the USA won 14 medals.
2014 marks the first World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships held in the United States under the auspices of the FIG and USA Gymnastics. However, 2014 will be the fifth time the USA has staged trampoline’s World Championships. Prior to 1999, trampoline was governed by the International Trampoline Federation (FIT) and the American Trampoline and Tumbling Association, and the World Championships were held in Lafayette, La. (1966); Tulsa, Okla. (1976); Bozeman, Mont. (1982); and Birmingham, Ala. (1988).
Tickets for the event will go on sale in 2014.
Junior Pan American Championships and Stars and Stripes Cup
The Junior Pan Am Championships will determine what athletes will represent the Americas in the second Youth Olympic Games in individual and group rhythmic gymnastics and men’s and women’s trampoline. For rhythmic gymnastics, the athletes must be 15 years old, and trampoline athletes must be 16 or 17 in 2014.
The Stars and Stripes Cup will feature senior and age-group competition (11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18) in trampoline, tumbling, double-mini and synchronized trampoline, along with senior level competition in both individual and group rhythmic gymnastics.
The competition schedule has not been finalized, but the plan is to have the Stars and Stripes Cup competition held during the day, with the Junior Pan Am Championships sessions in the evening. Tickets for both events will go on sale in 2014. The Junior Pan Am Championships is an event of the Pan American Gymnastics Union.
For more information about these competitions, go to usagym.org.
About the disciplines
Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.
Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.
Central Florida Sports Commission. The Central Florida Sports Commission strategically solicits, creates and supports marquee sports-related events and businesses that enhance our community’s economy. The Sports Commission represents the counties of Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia, as well as the City of Orlando. The Sports Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Central Florida including the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, the SPORTYS, Breakfast of Champions and the Gridiron 5K Challenge. For more information, visit www.centralfloridasports.org.
International Gymnastics Federation. The International Gymnastics Federation is the governing body for gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international sports federation and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. The FIG governs seven disciplines: Gymnastics for All, Men's Artistic, Women's Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline, Aerobic and Acrobatic. It counts 135 national member federations and boasts a 27-person staff at its international seat in Lausanne (SUI), host city of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. 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.