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  • Press Release: Chicago to Host International Gymnastics Competition in 2009


     CHICAGO (November 13, 2008) Chicago 2016 and World Sport Chicago (WSC) today announced that USA Gymnastics will host the 2009 Tyson American Cup gymnastics invitational in metropolitan Chicago. The competition, which has a legacy of showcasing the top international gymnasts, will be held February 21, 2009.

    Some of the sport's biggest names are former American Cup all-around gold medalists, including: men Paul Hamm, Jason Gatson, Blaine Wilson, John Roethlisberger, Vitaly Scherbo (Belarus), Tim Daggett, Peter Vidmar, Mitsuo Tsukahara (Japan), Kurt Thomas and Bart Conner; and women Carly Patterson, Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia), Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kristie Phillips, Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Stella Zakarova (USSR), Nadia Comaneci (Romania), Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.

    I'd like to officially welcome the 2009 Tyson American Cup to the Chicago area and thank USA Gymnastics for selecting our region to host this prestigious event, said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. By hosting these championships we have the opportunity to help develop the sport of gymnastics internationally, to celebrate the gymnasts accomplishments, to showcase their talents and give them the opportunity to experience all the greatness that the Chicago metropolitan area has to offer.

    Legendary Olympic Gymnastics Coach Bela Karolyi was on hand in Chicago to make the announcement. One of the most well-known gymnastics coaches, Karolyi has coached 28 Olympians and nine Olympic champions, including Retton, Comaneci and Strug. Retired from competitive coaching, Karolyi is currently the director of the U.S. Women’s National Training Center and ambassador of the sport. He was also a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

    We are honored that Chicago will welcome the gymnastics community to this prestigious international competition, said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. We are thrilled that Chicagoans will have the opportunity to come out and see these top athletes from around the world compete.

    Chicago has a long tradition of gymnastics excellence, from the grassroots to the elite level, and we are honored to hold this event in the Midwest region for the first time in more than twenty years,” said Bill Scherr, chairman of World Sport Chicago.

    The American Cup has always been an indicator of great Olympians, and I'd love for Chicago to host the Games on the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics victory in 1996, said Karolyi.

    "The American Cup has a long tradition of showcasing and previewing the world's top gymnasts, and it is a great way to show the gymnastics community that Chicago is the perfect city to host the 2016 Games," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We are excited about starting our 2012 road to London in the Chicago area."

    About Chicago 2016

    Chicago 2016 is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago. The committee’s board consists of business, civic, athletic, cultural and academic leaders representing Chicago and the surrounding Midwest region. Patrick Ryan serves as the organization's chairman and CEO.

    About World Sport Chicago

    World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago's international outreach through and for sport and youth. Focused on promoting the development of recreational and competitive sport to the area's youth, WSC works closely with Chicago 2016 and Chicago’s 2016's Athlete Advisory Counsel (AAC) to provide sport expertise and athlete insight to the execution of these sporting events. WSC intends to aid Chicago in developing a sustainable, international sporting legacy as a real agent of social change for the city. William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is chairman of the board and Scott Myers serves as the executive director.


    Mica Matsoff

    +1.312.861.4826 (Chicago 2016 media line)

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