Inside The Games
The sixth edition of the Nastia Liukin Cup will take place on its biggest stage yet, when the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas hosts the event in March next year.
Home of the Dallas Cowboys American football franchise, the 80,000 capacity AT&T Stadium will host the event on March 6, which will be followed the next day by the AT&T American Cup, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event featuring some of the world’s top gymnasts.
First launched in 2010 by former Olympic gold medal winner Liukin and USA Gymnastics, the Nastia Liukin Cup is an annual artistic gymnastics competition for promising junior and senior female athletes in the US.
Senior athletes must be 16 years of age or older and junior athletes must be 15 or younger.
Eighteen competitors from each category will be in action at the AT&T Stadium.
They will be selected following a series of invitational meetings held across the US as part of the Nastia Liukin Cup Series.
The series begins on January 9 next year in Atlanta and Chicago, which are two of 25 meetings scheduled to take place, culminating with the final six qualifiers being held from February 13 to 15 in the cities of Chicago, Frisco, Orlando, Phoenix and Virginia Beach.
Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and a warm-up from GK Elite, along with two tickets to the American Cup and the opportunity to meet Liukin and be in a team photo.
“Competing in AT&T Stadium is a once in a lifetime opportunity for any athlete,” said Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics.
“The Nastia Liukin Cup is about making dreams come true for young gymnasts, and this year it will be no exception.”
Liukin is the daughter of Seoul 1988 Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Valeri Liukin and former world champion Anna Kothneva, who competed for the Soviet Union before they moved to the US in the early 1990s from Russia.
Liukin, who now lives in Dallas, is a four-time world champion, while at the 2008 Olympic Games she won the gold medal in the women’s all-around competition as well as three silver and one bronze.
Her efforts in Beijing saw her inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame earlier this year after matching the US gymnastics record for the most medals at one Olympics with Mary Lou Retton at Los Angeles 1984 and Shannon Miller, who achieved the same feat at Barcelona 1992.
She retired in 2012 after failing to make the US team for the London Olympics.
“Staging the Nastia Liukin Cup in Dallas, my hometown, means a lot,” she said.
“To have it happen in the great venue where the Cowboys play is incredible.
“What an awesome experience it will be for the young women competing in this year’s Cup.
“I am very gratified by how the Nastia Liukin Cup has grown and the unique competitive opportunity it provides the participants.”