Traveling for sporting events is an exciting way to spend the weekend with your family and we are lucky to have the USA Gymnastics Championships 2016 in Providence, RI, Dunkin Donuts Center this coming weekend of June 10-12.
Here are my top six reasons to attend USA Gymnastics Championships with your family:
1. The Three in One Format
USA Gymnastics Championships 2016 will determine national champions in three gymnastics disciplines: ACROBATIC, TRAMPOLINE & TUMBLING, AND RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS! Each afternoon and evening session over the weekend will be a combined session that will include performances in all three disciplines. Here are the links for detailed schedule and tickets (note that while some events, including junior Olympics, have started on June 8, most of the senior elite events are scheduled at 6pm on June 10-12.). Individual session tickets are $25-$30. I am especially excited about watching trampoline and acrobatic events live for the first time!
2. Being Part of the Olympic History (without actually going to Rio)
The USA will be sending one rhythmic gymnast in the individual competition, as well as a group, and one man and one woman to compete in trampoline at the Rio Olympic Games this August. Team USA Olympians will be announced at the conclusion of the senior competition on June 12.
3. Watching Laura Zeng and Charlotte Drury Compete
Traditionally a European sport, US Rhythmic Gymnastics is making huge strides internationally with rhythmic gymnast Laura Zeng (of Illinois) recently placing on the World Cup podium in two event finals for the first time in history. Laura Zeng is a heavy favorite to win an individual rhythmic berth to Rio, and Charlotte Drury (first American woman to win a world cup medal in trampoline history in 2014) is a trampoline favorite. For a list of more Olympic hopefuls, scroll down to the bottom of the post.
4. Being able to Drive to the Event site
Event venue in at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence RI is a quick 45 minute drive from my suburb south of Boston and is within a driving distance for many parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut (not to mention Rhode Island). Traveling for sporting events is an exciting way to spend a weekend with your family! You could make your day trip even more enjoyable if you make plans to be….
5. Exploring Providence
While the famous WaterFires Providence is not happening on weekend of June 11 (full lighting is scheduled on the following weekend of June 18), there are many things to do in Providence for families, like strolling along the Providence river (or splurging on a gondola ride), stopping for deserts at Federal Hill area (Providence’ Little Italy) or exploring Roger Williams Zoo, one of the nation’s oldest. For a full list of recommendations on what to do and where to eat in Providence, follow this blog post from Providence-based We 3 Travel Blog.
6. The Kick-off Celebration on Friday June 10
This free fun gathering for athletes and fans leading into the first night of the senior elite competition will begin at 4pm (and last until about 5:30) and is being held outside on the street (between the Hilton Providence and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center) . Activities include DJs, an inflatable obstacle course, temporary face tattoos, local mascots, carnival games to name a few. As part of the celebration, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny will be on hand to rename the street, “Rhode to Gold.”
GOOD TO KNOW:
Acrobatic routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes – a base, middle and top partner – while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.
Rhythmic gymnasts perform choreographed routine to music and must perform leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs. Group exercise also requires cooperation elements and synchronization.
Trampoline gymnasts use trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor 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.
WHO to Watch in Providence (according to USA Gymnastics):
- 2016 World acrobatic mixed pair silver medalists and 2015 U.S. champions Axel Osborne and Tiffani Williams
- 2015 U.S. women’s pair champions and 2016 world finalists Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio
- 2015 U.S. women’s group champions Londrea Garrett, Josephina Kievsky, and Emilia Segel, all of Columbia, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer
- Laura Zeng is looking for her second consecutive U.S. all-around title, following up on placing eighth in the World all-around finals and winning two bronze medals at the recent Minsk World Cup. Zeng also claimed the 2015 U.S. hoop, clubs and ribbon titles.
- 2016 Pac Rim rope/ribbon champion and all-around silver medalist Camilla Feeley, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center
- 2016 Pac Rim all-around, hoop, ball and clubs champion Aliya Protto, Los Angeles/California Rhythms
- 2015 U.S. ball gold and all-around bronze medalist Serena Lu, Staten Island, N.Y.
- 2015 U.S. junior all-around and hoop champion Evita Griskenas, Chicago, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center
- 2015 U.S. junior rope champion Nicole Kaloyanov, Woodbridge, Va./Gymnastics World
- 2015 U.S. junior ball and clubs champion Nastasya Generalova, Los Angeles/California Rhythms
- The senior rhythmic group will also be performing, along with nine junior and Junior Olympic groups. The members of the senior group are: Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill., Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, Ill., all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center.
Trampoline and Tumbling
2012 Olympian Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands/Elite Trampoline Academy, is looking for his sixth U.S. trampoline title, and Yuliya Brown of Idaho, Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics, has her sights set on a seventh women’s tumbling crown. Trampoline and tumbling’s events are trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling.
- Nicole Ahsinger, San Diego, Calif./Trampoline and Tumbling Express: 2015 U.S. trampoline and synchro silver medalist.
- Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics: six-time U.S. synchro champion (2007-10, 2013-14); U.S. trampoline silver medalist (2010-12, 2015); U.S. synchro silver medalist (2006, 2012).
- Charlotte Drury, Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics: 2015 U.S. trampoline bronze medalist; 2014 Minsk World Cup trampoline champion; 2014 U.S. trampoline champion; 2013 U.S. synchro champion.
- Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy: three-time U.S. trampoline champion (2011, 13-14); two-time U.S. synchro champion (2011-12)
- Clare Johnson, Huntsville, Ala./The Matrix Gym, Inc: 2015 U.S. trampoline champion and synchro silver medalist; 2014 U.S. synchro bronze medalist.
- Kristle Lowell, Orland Park, Ill./Tumbling on U.S.A.: 2015 U.S. double-mini silver medalist; 2013 World double-mini individual and team gold medalist; 2013 U.S. double-mini champion.
- Aliaksei Shostak, Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express: 2015 U.S. trampoline and synchro bronze medalist; 2013-14 U.S. synchro silver medalist.
- Garrett Wheeler, Ellenwood, Ga./FlipCity South: 2015 U.S. tumbling co-champion; 2013-14 U.S. tumbling bronze medalist.