City hoping to score high marks with gymnastics competition - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City hoping to score high marks with gymnastics competition

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some of the nation's most elite athletes are tumbling into town this weekend for the USA Gymnastics Championships. But they aren't the only ones competing as a lot is on the line for the city of Louisville.

From proven Olympians to rising stars, more than 1600 athletes have arrived in Louisville with their coaches and families, and preparations are underway to convert the KFC Yum! Center into a gymnastics arena.

“Members of the U.S. national team will be named here,” U.S.A Gymnastics officials Susan Jacobs explained. “A lot of families come. They plan their summer vacation over it,” Jacobson added.

It's the first time three championship events - rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics - have been hosted in one city.

Jacobson touted the event as elite. “You are going to see athletes that prepare at the elite level,” she said.

The junior competition starts Tuesday with events at the Kentucky International Convention Center, while the senior competition runs Thursday through Saturday at the Yum! Center.

The Louisville Sports Commission says the event is about financial dexterity for the city’s economy.

“It's 2 to 3 million dollars of new money coming into our community” Louisville Sports Commission’s Karl Schmitt said.

Louisville isn't known as a gymnastics hub, which is why the city has a lot to prove.

“They want to see what you can do,” Schmitt said. “They want to see if the community embraces their sport, they want to see the facilities in operation.”

If all goes well, Louisville could be in line for larger events in the future.

“What we aspire to some day is the Olympic trials,” Schmitt told us.

“There will be power, there will be agility, there will be grace and beauty,” Jacobson said. “Anything you want to see. It’s all going to be under one roof so we'd love to have people come and check it out for the first time.”

Tickets are still available for the Senior level qualifying rounds and for the finals on Saturday.

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