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An additional 16 gymnasts qualify for the 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup

INDIANAPOLIS, February 17, 2021 – Five of the final six Nastia Liukin Cup Series events took place over the weekend, qualifying an additional 16 gymnasts to the field of 36 who will compete Friday, February 26 at the Indiana Convention Center. The 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup will air live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The competition showcases up-and-coming gymnasts and was launched in 2010 by 2008 Olympic all-around champion and 14-time Olympic and World medalist Nastia Liukin. Gymnasts who compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup will receive a Nastia Liukin-designed leotard and warm-up from GK Elite and will have the opportunity to meet Liukin onsite at the event.

Qualification spots from series events cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were awarded to the participating invitational that was geographically closest. Last weekend’s qualifiers are listed below by competition. (click on the event titles for results)

  • Brestyan’s Las Vegas Invitational, Scottsdale, Ariz.: Amari Celestine, Wildomar, Calif./SCEGA, senior; Chloe LaCoursiere, San Diego, Calif./Coastal Gymnastics, senior; Mackenzie Estep, Auburn, Wash./Ascend, junior; and Lillian Jennejohn, Provo, Utah/All American, junior
  • Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash.: Madelyn Williams, Vacaville, Calif./Dream Xtreme Gymnastics, senior; and CJ Keuneke, Denver, Colo./Active Athletics, junior
  • Excalibur Cup, Virginia Beach, Va.: Hannah Loyim, Mountain Lakes, N.J./North Stars Gymnastics Academy, senior; Jocelyn Moore, Hillsborough, N.J./Gymland/Arena Gymnastics, senior; Azaraya Ra-Akbar, Columbia, Md./World Class Gymnastics, junior; and Ruth Whaley, Annapolis, Md./Win-Win Gymnastics, junior
  • Metroplex Challenge, Fort Worth, Texas: Sloane Blakely, Frisco, Texas/WOGA, senior; Leah Smith, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, senior; Baylie Belman, Allen, Texas/Metroplex, junior; and Alicia Zhou, San Antonio, Texas/Love Gymnastics, junior
  • Presidential Classic, Kissimmee, Fla.: Moorea Linker, Odessa, Fla./LaFleur’s, senior; and Danielle Ferris, St. Augustine, Fla./Florida Elite, junior

Background information

  • Nastia Liukin. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin’s total of five medals tied the U.S. gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games. Liukin’s Olympic medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin was the third of five U.S. women to win the Olympic all-around crown. She also won nine World medals in her career. In 2018, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, and in 2019, she was named to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. Liukin has graced many magazine covers and appeared on various shows, including “Gossip Girl,” “Make It or Break It,” and the feature film, “Stick It.” Liukin was a contestant in the 2015 spring edition of “Dancing with the Stars” and was the grand marshal for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. She currently serves as a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports and is a founder of Grander, a global community for the next generation of female athletes that provides access to the people who inspire, resources to help achieve dreams, and communities of like-minded people with similar ambitions. Liukin was coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988 including two gold.
  • Indiana Sports Corp. Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States, encompassing seven disciplines: women’s gymnastics, men’s gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, gymnastics for all (a.k.a. group gymnastics) and, most recently, parkour. USA Gymnastics sets the rules and policies that govern the sport of gymnastics, including selecting and training the U.S. Gymnastics Teams for the Olympics and World Championships; promoting and developing gymnastics on the grassroots and national levels, as well as a safe, empowered and positive training environment; and serving as a resource and educational center for the more than 200,000 members, clubs, fans and gymnasts throughout the United States. The organization is deeply committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority: the safety and well-being of athletes and our community.