USA’s Top Gymnasts Compete This Week at Sprint Center in the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships
2016 Olympic and 2018 World all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, and two-time World medalist Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, are both seeking their sixth U.S. all-around titles when they compete this week at the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 8-11. The four-day competition provides the first opportunity for fans to see the men and women who will be in the mix heading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Featuring competition on both the junior and senior levels, the U.S. Championships also has fun activities for fans both inside and outside Sprint Center.
During the course of the four days, 46 women and 77 men will vie for junior and senior national team berths and national titles. Performances at the U.S. Championships are also part of the selection process for the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. The U.S. Championships is part of the Team USA Champions Series.
A free fan fest is available for attendees and gymnastics fans, whether they have event tickets or not, Aug. 10-11 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in conjunction with the 2019 U.S. Gymnastic Championships. The fan fest will be held on Grand Blvd. just outside of Sprint Center, as well as inside the KC Live! Block of the Power & Light District. The fan fest features interactive inflatables, face painting, photo opportunities, a DJ - and more.
Betty Rae’s Ice Cream Truck is an ice cream shop on wheels that offers 15 ice cream flavors in cups or cones, sundaes, root beer floats, etc. Betty Rae’s will also feature the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships Special Edition Flavor.
Ruby Jean's Juicery is KC’s #1 healthy establishment, offering 100% fresh and cold-press juice, smoothies and healthy and vegan bites. There is life in fruits and vegetables and that same life and passion are cornerstones of the Ruby Jean’s brand. Don’t miss your chance to try the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships limited edition cold pressed juice, dubbed “Balanced Beet” with beets, carrots, oranges and pineapple.
The fun opportunities continue on the concourse inside the venue. The following is a quick overview of the fan activities available on the concourse on competition days.
· Selfie Station. Fans can capture championships’ memories in selfie station.
· Autograph sessions. The daily autograph schedule, which is subject to change. Autograph Sessions take place at Sprint Center on the concourse by section 109.
Aug. 8, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Four-time 2016 Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles.
Aug. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Two-time Olympian and World-medalist Sam Mikulak and World medalist Yul Moldauer.
· Merchandise. Fans can purchase everything gymnastics, including event-specific tees, other apparel, and more at the merchandise booth.
· 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics. Spectators will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics. Representatives from St. Louis will be onsite with Trials information and to help place ticket orders.
Biles is seeking to become the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six senior U.S. all-around titles. Biles has the opportunity to tie with Clara Schroth Lomady, who won the women’s all-around from 1945-46 and 1949-52, as the only women to win six U.S. all-around titles. Biles and 11 of her U.S. Senior National Team teammates are among the 17 women competing in the senior division, and 29 women are competing as juniors.
Along with Biles, the members of the senior national team in the field are: 2019 Gymnix International team gold-medalist Sloane Blakely of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics; two-time World silver-medalist Jade Carey of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays; 2018 U.S. vault silver-medalist Jordan Chiles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre; 2019 Pan Am Games and 2018 World team gold-medalist Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express; 2019 Pan American Games team champion Aleah Finnegan of Lee's Summit, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express; 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd of Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics; 2019 Jesolo Trophy team gold-medalist Shilese Jones of Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy; 2019 Jesolo Trophy all-around champion Sunisa Lee of St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center; 2018 World team gold-medalist Grace McCallum of Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters; 2019 Pan Am Games all-around silver- and team gold-medalist Riley McCusker of Brielle, N.J./MG Elite; 2018 Pan Am Championships all-around silver-medalist Trinity Thomas of York, Pa./University of Florida Gymnastics; and 2019 American Cup champion Leanne Wong of Overland Park, Kansas/Great American Gymnastics Express.
The U.S. Junior National Team members in the field are: Ciena Alipio of San Jose, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School; Sydney Barros of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics; Skye Blakely of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics; Sophia Butler of Houston, Texas/Discover Gymnastics; Kayla DiCello of Boyds, Md./Hill's Gymnastics; Olivia Greaves of Staten Island, N.Y./MG Elite; Lilly Lippeatt of Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics; Konnor McClain of Cross Lanes, W.Va./Revolution Gymnastics; and Kaylen Morgan of Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics.
Mikulak has the opportunity to tie Makoto Sakamoto, who earned his sixth all-around title in 1970. His senior national teammates in the field are: Donothan Bailey of Mission Viejo, Calif./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center; Allan Bower of Chandler, Ariz./University of Oklahoma; Trevor Howard of Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State University; Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University; Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University; Moldauer; Stephen Nedoroscik of Worcester, Mass./Pennsylvania State University; Colin Van Wicklen of Magnolia, Texas/University of Oklahoma; and Alex Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind./Ohio State University. Justin Ah Chow of Miami, Fla./Ohio State University, and Riley Loos of El Dorado Hills, Calif./Technique Gymnastics, are current members of the U.S. Junior National Team who will be competing in the senior division.
Seven members of the U.S. Junior National Team are expected to compete in Kansas City: Lazarus Barnhill of Houston, Texas/University of Oklahoma, Level 10/17-19; Taylor Burkhart of Morrison, Colo./5280 Gymnastics, Level 10/15-16; JR Chou of Cypress, Texas/Stanford Boys Gymnastics, Level 10/17-19; Isaiah Drake of Los Angeles, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, Level 10/15-16; Nicolas Kuebler of Seattle, Wash./Metropolitan Gymnastics, Level 10/15-16; Colt Walker of Cedar Park, Texas/AcroTex Gymnastics, Level 10/17-19; and Khoi Young of Bowie, Md./Sportsplex Gymnastics, Level 10/15-16.
The competition schedule, which is subject to change, for the four days is below. All times are Central.
Thursday, August 8: Men’s gymnastics – 1 p.m., juniors, and 6:30 p.m., seniors
Friday, August 9: Women’s gymnastics – 1 p.m., juniors, and 6:30 p.m., seniors
Saturday, August 10: Men’s gymnastics – 1 p.m., juniors, and 6:30 p.m., seniors
Sunday, August 11: Women’s gymnastics – 1 p.m., juniors, and 6:30 p.m., seniors
Single-session tickets range in price from $27-$122, depending on the session and day. In addition, five multi-session packages are also available. All ticket prices are plus applicable fees. Tickets are available for purchase at SprintCenter.com, Price Chopper Box Office at Sprint Center or by phone at 888.929.7849.
At the 2018 U.S. Championships, both Biles and Mikulak won their fifth U.S. women’s and men’s all-around titles, respectively. Also in 2018, Biles won her fourth World all-around title, as well as the vault and floor gold, uneven bars silver and balance beam bronze medals. Biles also anchored the U.S. women’s Team that won the team title. Mikulak brought home his first individual World medal, the horizontal bar bronze.
USA Gymnastics is partnering with the Kansas City Sports Commission for the 2019 event, with support from Visit KC and Sprint Center. This is the first time the event has been in Kansas City since 1987.
The Team USA Champions Series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the season, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.
Sprint Center played host to both the 2012 and 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Kansas City has also staged other gymnastics events, including the final selection event for trampoline for the 2008 Olympic Games.
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 –Jonathan Horton, Paul Hamm, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Mitch Gaylord, Peter Vidmar and Bart Conner. The U.S. Gymnastics Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men and 1931 for the women.
Additionally, the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show will be held at the Kansas City Convention Center, Aug. 8-11, in conjunction with the championships. The annual USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show provides a valuable opportunity for gymnastics professional around the country to attend educational presentations, as well as a number of live demonstrations, on a variety of topics, including coaching, judging, business, preschool, school-age/recreational, sports science, fitness and safe sport and more. Attendees also receive admittance to the trade show hall where they can visit vendor booths that provide specific goods and services to the gymnastics community.