Submitted by Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission.
The country’s top women’s gymnasts are heading to the Tacoma Dome for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships. Scheduled for May 15-17, the championships feature 675 women vying for national titles.
The Junior Olympics is USA Gymnastics’ age-group, developmental program. Previous participants have gone on to win Olympic gold.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to host the U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships,” said Dean Burke, president and CEO of Travel Tacoma + Pierce County and Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission. “Our partnership with Emerald City Gymnastics Academy and USA Gymnastics has been strong for more than five years. Together we truly set out to grow the sport for this region and to prepare ourselves to host a major championships like this.”
The U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships is the culmination of the competitive season for Level 10, the highest Junior Olympic skill level that is just below the elite level. Numerous Junior Olympic champions and medalists have gone on to make the U.S. National Team and represent the United States in international competition and/or to compete in collegiate gymnastics.
Many of the country’s top gymnasts are former participants in the Junior Olympic program, including the 2016 Olympic gold-medal winning Final Five (Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman), 2012 Olympic team champions Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross, 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, and 2008 Olympic balance beam champion Shawn Johnson.
The Junior Olympic National Championships features 12 age divisions, which are determined by birth date. These gymnasts are vying to become Junior Olympic national champions in the all-around, as well as in all four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. The competition schedule will be determined closer to the event.
“We believe our athletes will enjoy competing in the Tacoma Dome, the site for gymnastics at the 1990 Goodwill Games and numerous other gymnastics events,” said Annie Heffernon, USA Gymnastics vice president of women’s gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics has eight regions, and the top seven gymnasts from each region’s championships advance to nationals. The winning regions will also be determined at the conclusion of the competition. The top four all-around athletes in each age division qualify to the 2020 U.S. Junior Olympic National Team and are invited to attend a national training camp.
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