The American Cup

The American Cup was first held in 1976 and has become an increasingly prestigious International meet. Some of the best Junior and Senior Elite gymnasts in the world meet in competition in a U.S. city. This meet has often been used by countries, including the United States, to showcase and give experience to upcoming potential Olympians.

And, indeed, the meet has produced U.S Olympic gold for participant’s including Shannon Miller, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson and Jonathan Horton.

For the first five years, from 1976 – 1980, the American Cup was held in Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was held there again from 1982 – 1984 and again there in 2004 and 2008, making New York’s Madison Square Garden its number one host city and host facility hosting the American Cup ten times. It was also held in the NYC area in 2005 at Uniondale, N.Y.

Hosting the American cup seven times is Orlando, Florida hosting the American Cup from 1991-94, and then again from 2000-02. Fairfax, Virginia hosted the meet from 1986 to 1990 and then again in 2003 for a total of six times.

Fort Worth, Texas hosted the meet four times. It first hosted the American Cup in 1981 and then again from 1996 to 1998.

Jacksonville, Florida is the only other city to host the American Cup more than once. It hosted the meet twice including in 2007 and then again in 2011.

Each of the rest of the host cities have only hosted the American Cup once:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana hosted it in1985
  • Seattle, Washington hosted the meet in 1995.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida hosted it in 1999.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hosted the meet in 2006.
  • Hoffman Estates, just northwest of Chicago Illinois hosted it in 2009.
  • Worcester, Mass, outside of Boston hosted the meet in 2010.

In 2005, the American Cup was made part of the F.I.G. Gymnastics World Cup Series. It was again designated as an F.I.G. World Cup event in 2011. There are currently four all-around World Cup events each year held in a variety of cities around the world. Supposedly, World Cup regulations require that the gymnasts invited were the top gymnasts at the 2010 World Championships.

In 2011, the F.I.G. committee made a retroactive ruling allowing the host country of  a World Cup event to put in a wild card gymnast from their country. This was seemingly to cover up the mistake of putting in U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber and adjust the rules after the fact so she, the winner of the 2011 American Cup over Russian gymnast, Aliya Mustifina, was seen to have been entered legally despite Russian federation protests.

The World Cup series format has had problems with being able to get the top gymnasts from the previous World Championships to participate due to injuries, being too early in the Elite season for some Elite International gymnasts to be ready and some gymnasts choose to skip the meets to train or peak for other meets they consider more important, like the European Championships, the World championships and the Olympics.

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