Tulsa to Host U.S. Elite Challenge

More than 400 gymnasts are expected to head to Tulsa for trampoline and tumbling’s 2012 U.S. Elite Challenge competition March 30 through April 1. Held at the Tulsa Convention Center, the three-day event showcases the nation’s best in men’s and women’s trampoline, tumbling, synchronized trampoline and double mini-trampoline. The U.S. Elite Challenge is one of three events that are part of the selection process for the U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline.

In addition to the junior and senior elite levels, the U.S. Elite Challenge also includes athletes in Levels 8-10 and the Olympic Development Program. The four events for the elite and Olympic Development Program levels will have both preliminary and final rounds.

“This event is one to see,” says Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of the Tulsa Sports Commission. “Trampoline and tumbling require intense athletic talent, focus and training. Visually, the competition is definitely one of the most thrilling showcases of premier Olympic talent.”

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform single, double and twisted somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated spring 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.

“Through our partnerships with VisitTulsa, the Tulsa Metro Chamber, and the Tulsa Convention Center, we worked to develop a new and exciting contract with Gymnastics, the governing body of the US Elite Challenge,” says Hoyt.

One man and one woman will represent the United States in trampoline at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The U.S. Elite Challenge is the first of three qualifying events for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline. The other two events are the Stars and Stripes Cup, May 11-13, and a final selection event held in conjunction with the U.S. Trampoline and Tumbling Championships, June 27-28. Athletes earn points based on their finishes at the three selection events, with points earned at two of the three competitions counting toward the final ranking.

Based in Indianapolis, 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 complete information, visit www.usagym.org.

Updated 01-23-2012

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