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The 2018 American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series, is the premier event of gymnastics’ Triple Cup weekend that is coming to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., March 2-3, 2018.
“We are excited to have the American Cup return to the Sears Centre Arena next year,” said Ron Galimore, chief operating officer of USA Gymnastics. “Our Chicagoland members and fans are enthusiastic and engaged. In 2009, they turned out in force for the event despite a blizzard. Next year, we will offer a weekend of gymnastics that spans from many of the best gymnasts in the world to our country’s rising stars in men’s and women’s gymnastics. We look forward to seeing everyone back here in March.”
Also held at the Sears Centre Arena in 2009, the American Cup showcases many of the world’s best gymnasts, in a one-day, all-around competition March 3 at 10:30 a.m. CT. On March 2, the Nastia Liukin Cup that features some of the USA’s top Junior Olympic female gymnasts kicks off the big weekend at 7 p.m. CT. The Elite Team Cup, a team event with many of the USA’s top junior men, wraps up the weekend’s events on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. CT.
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In 2017, 2016 Olympic replacement athlete Ragan Smith of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams, and Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma, a NCAA all-around champion, won the women’s and men’s titles at the American Cup at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The impressive list of former American Cup champions includes: Simone Biles, Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Gabby Douglas, Paul Hamm, Jonathan Horton, Shawn Johnson, Danell Leyva, Nastia Liukin, Sam Mikulak, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson, Mary Lou Retton, Kurt Thomas, Peter Vidmar, Jordyn Wieber and Kim Zmeskal-Burdette.
Past sites for the American Cup include: New York, N.Y. (1976-80, 1982-84, 2004, 2008, 2012); Ft. Worth, Texas (1981, 1996-98); Indianapolis, Ind. (1985); Fairfax, Va. (1986-90, 2003); Orlando, Fla. (1991-94, 2000-02); Seattle, Wash. (1995); St. Petersburg, Fla. (1999); Uniondale, N.Y. (2005); Philadelphia, Pa. (2006); Jacksonville, Fla. (2007, 2011); Hoffman Estates, Ill. (2009); Worcester, Mass. (2010, 2013); Greensboro, N.C. (2014); Arlington, Texas (2015); and Newark, N.J. (2016-17).
Nastia Liukin Cup
The 36 participants in the Nastia Liukin Cup are selected through the Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which features many of the country’s top gymnastics invitationals held throughout the United States. A total of 18 junior and 18 senior gymnasts advance to the Nastia Liukin Cup. Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older, and junior athletes must be 15 or younger. Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite; two tickets to the Nastia Liukin Cup; and the opportunity to meet Liukin and participate in a team photo.
The Nastia Liukin Cup is named after Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion who has five Olympic and nine World medals to her credit. The annual event is held the night before the American Cup and made its debut in 2010. Past sites include 2016 and 2017, Newark, N.J.; 2015, Arlington, Texas; 2014, Greensboro, N.C.; 2013 and 2010, Worcester, Mass.; 2012, New York City; and 2011, Jacksonville, Fla.
Elite Team Cup
In its third year, the Elite Team Cup features nine men’s Regional Teams. The country’s best junior elite male gymnasts compete, representing their respective regions. The junior elite gymnasts must be between 13-18 years of age as of Sept. 1, 2017, and will be selected from the Regional Elite Team Program. The Junior Elite gymnasts will follow the USA Gymnastics/International Gymnastics Federation competition rules. The event was first held in 2016 in Newark, which also hosted the 2017 edition.
In addition to the upcoming events in 2018, the Sears Centre Arena has staged the U.S. Classic for four years (2013-15, 2017) and the American Cup in 2009.