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Pittsburgh Sets Out to Prove ‘Good Taste’ in Sports

18 Aug, 2014


2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships Offers Ancillary Competitions in City

Restaurants in the local Pittsburgh area will be a fun part of the excitement surrounding the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships, Aug. 21-24, at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., by participating in the Steel City’s Taste of the Championships. The dining program has two components:  a friendly competition among five restaurants; and a discounted dining program for spectators and participants for the P&G Championships and the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show.

Steel City’s Taste of the Championships is a joint effort between VisitPITTSBURGH, USA Gymnastics and Highmark, a local sponsor of the P&G Championships, to promote healthy eating.  

Five restaurants will vie for recognition and bragging rights for special gymnastics-themed entrées that will be added to their menus leading up to and during the championships.  Each entrée will be judged on creativity and presentation; taste; and nutritional value. A nutritionist with Highmark will review each entrée for its nutritional value. Led by 1996 Olympian John Macready, a panel of celebrity judges will visit each restaurant during championships week, and each restaurant will attend a special live awards presentation on Aug. 24 during the final day of the P&G Championships.

“This is the fifth year for the Taste of the Championships, and every year it just gets better,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “The restaurants are so creative with their entrées, and John and his panel of judges have a great time visiting the restaurants, trying the entrées and interacting with the chef, staff and fans.  The Taste of the Championships has become a popular initiative with everyone involved.”

The five participating Pittsburgh restaurants are:  The Capital Grille, 301 Fifth Ave.; Meat and Potatoes 649 Penn Ave.; Nine on Nine, 900 Penn Ave.; NOLA, 24 Market Square; and The Carlton, 500 Grant St.

“One of the goals of the Taste of the Championships is to emphasize the importance and great taste of healthy nutrition,” said Anna Silberman, vice president of clinical client relations at Highmark.  “Our nutritionists will be looking for whole grains, lean meats, a 50 percent carbohydrate/25 percent protein and fat each and a non-starchy vegetable.  This is a fun opportunity for these restaurants to show their creativity and talent.”

In addition, a number of Pittsburgh-area restaurants are expected to participate in the USA Gymnastics Dining Program, which offers a special discount during the championships week to event participants, spectators and guests. Patrons will receive a 5-15 percent discount on their food and beverage purchases by presenting their Congress or P&G Gymnastics Championships credentials or a session ticket to the P&G Gymnastics Championships. This offer is valid during championships week, Aug. 17-24.  Pittsburgh TasteBuds Ltd. is managing this program in cooperation with USA Gymnastics, CONSOL Energy Center, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and VisitPITTSBURGH.  A list of the participating restaurants will be available at pgchamps.com closer to the event.

 “Pittsburgh has many fine restaurants,” said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. “The athletes, coaches, officials and spectators will certainly be pleased with the variety of choices available from the great cross-section of restaurants participating.”

The Taste of the Championships debuted in Hartford, Conn., in 2010.

The P&G Championships, the national championship for USA Gymnastics, showcases the country’s top male and female gymnasts, who are vying for U.S. titles and national team berths at the four-day event.

The competition schedule for men's and women's gymnastics is:  Thursday, Aug. 21 – women's gymnastics, juniors (1 p.m.) and seniors (7:30 p.m.); Friday, Aug. 22 – men's gymnastics, juniors (1 p.m.) and seniors (7 p.m.); Saturday, Aug. 23 – women's gymnastics, juniors (2 p.m.) and seniors (7:30 p.m.); and Sunday, Aug. 24 – men's gymnastics, seniors (1 p.m.) and juniors (7:30 p.m.).

Tickets are available at the Dick's Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. For group (10+ people) sales information, please call Justin Leach at (412) 804-7904. Discounted tickets are also available through local gym clubs that are participating in the Club Ticket Sales Program.

Performances at the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships will determine all-around and individual national champions, as well as the national team for the junior and senior elite levels. The nationals also traditionally serve as part of the selection process for the U.S. Team for the World Championships. Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, and Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan, won the men's and women's U.S. all-around titles, respectively, in 2013.

2014 will be the first time the U.S. Championships have been held in Pennsylvania since 2001 and just the fourth since 1973. The roster of former U.S. all-around champions is a veritable who's who of gymnastics, including: women – Jordyn Wieber, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kim Zmeskal and Mary Lou Retton; and men – John Orozco, Danell Leyva, Jonathan Horton, Paul Hamm, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Mitch Gaylord, Peter Vidmar, Tim Daggett and Bart Conner. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men and 1931 for the women.

The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show will be held in conjunction with the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The annual USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show is a three-day event open to the entire gymnastics community. Held in conjunction with the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, National Congress provides a unique opportunity for presentations, demonstrations and educational seminars on a variety of topics and a large exhibitor's hall with additional business opportunities.

VisitPITTSBURGH, the Pittsburgh Penguins, AEG and CONSOL Energy Center were instrumental in bringing the event to the city. The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are also helping support the championships.

• VisitPITTSBURGH. VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.

• CONSOL Energy Center. CONSOL Energy Center, operated by AEG Facilities, is Pittsburgh's premier indoor site for sports and entertainment. In addition to being home to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, the arena hosted the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball second and third rounds as well as the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four and will host the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball second and third rounds.

• David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Completed in 2003 and owned by the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA), the DLCC is located in downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District, within steps of theaters, museums, sport venues, galleries and restaurants. The dynamic architectural design is like no other – breath-taking views, open terraces and a suspended roof structure. As the first LEED Gold certified convention center under the LEED for New Construction rating system, some of the "green" features include: a natural ventilation system, abundant natural daylight, a water reclamation system, and an extensive recycling program. The DLCC continues to adhere to the slogan; "Built Green. Working Green. Every Day" and has now achieved LEED Platinum certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. The DLCC is the first convention center to receive certification under both rating systems.

• AEG Facilities. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with more than 100 of the industry's preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Development, AEG 1Earth, AEG Encore and AEG Creative to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. The Los Angeles-based organization owns, operates or provides services to the world's most elite venues, including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles, Calif.), Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), XL Center (Hartford, Conn.), KFC YUM! Center (Louisville, Ky.), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.), BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas), O.co Coliseum and Oracle Arena (Oakland, Calif.), CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Pernambuco Stadium (Recife, Brazil), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia), ULKER Sports Arena (Istanbul, Turkey), Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Qatar National Convention Centre (Doha, Qatar). For more information, please visit www.aegworldwide.com.

 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 (known internationally as Gymnastics for All).  For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.

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