Grace McCallum, Leanne Wong, Sam Mikulak and Yul Moldauer will be representing the U.S. at the 2019 American Cup gymnastics competition on March 2 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
McCallum, from Twin City Twisters, was part of the 2018 World Championship team that earned the gold medal. This will be her fourth international competition representing the U.S. in her second year as a senior elite.
Wong, from Great American Gymnastics Express, will be making her senior elite debut at the American Cup. In 2018, she won the junior national all-around title at the U.S. Championships and also competed in her first international meet at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships, where she placed third all-around and helped USA win the gold as a team.
“This year’s American Cup is the perfect opportunity for Grace and Leanne to gain additional international experience against several of the world’s best,” said Tom Forster, the women’s high-performance team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. “Qualifying for the 2020 Olympics last year allows us to use 2019 to work with our athletes and their coaches to identify international opportunities that best fit their training plans for success at the 2019 World Championships and, ultimately, the 2020 Olympic Games. Our goal is to work cooperatively with our national team athletes and coaches for the overall success for them personally and the country.”
- Canada: Elsabeth “Ellie” Black
- China: Lu Yufei
- France: Celia Serber
- Germany: Kim Bui
- Japan: Mai Murakami
- Korea: TBA
- Netherlands: Sanna Veerman
- USA: Leanne Wong, Overland Park, Kansas/GAGE
- USA: Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minnesota/Twin City Twisters
On the men's side for the U.S., Mikulak and Moldauer both boast World Championship experience. Mikulak, a two-time Olympian, is coming off of a strong year and his first individual world medal, a bronze on high bar at the 2018 World Championships. Moldauer was also on the 2018 worlds team that finished fourth, just missing out on a medal. Moldauer is the defending American Cup champion, winning the all-around title in both 2017 and 2018.
“2019 is an important year for the U.S. men,” said Brett McClure, the men’s high-performance director for USA Gymnastics. “Both Sam and Yul have used the American Cup as the kickoff for their international competitive plan, and this year is no different. The men’s field in Greensboro will be very competitive, and this will provide an opportunity to prepare for the coming year that includes qualifying for Tokyo and gaining quality experience for both our veterans and younger team members.”
- China: Ma Yue
- Great Britain: James Hall
- Germany: Marcel Nguyen
- Japan: Kenzo Shirai
- Netherlands: Bart Deurloo
- Switzerland: Christian Baumann
- Ukraine: Petro Pakhniuk
- USA: Samuel Mikulak, Colorado Springs, Colorado/U.S. Olympic Training Center
- USA: Yul Moldauer, Arvada, Colorado/University of Oklahoma
The American Cup, the USA’s most prestigious international invitational and part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around World Cup series, will also feature two-time Olympian and World silver-medalist Ellie Black of Canada; 2017 European Championships all-around bronze-medalist James Hall of Great Britain; 2018 World all-around silver medalist Mai Murakami of Japan; two-time Olympic silver-medalist Marcel Nguyen of Germany; and five-time World gold-medalist Kenzo Shirai of Japan. Rounding out the men’s and women’s fields are 2016 Olympians Christian Baumann of Switzerland, Bart Deurloo of the Netherlands and Petro Pakhniuk of the Ukraine; two-time Olympian Kim Bui of Germany; 2014 Youth Olympic Games two-time silver-medalist Ma Yue of China; and rising stars Lu Yufei of China, Celia Serber of France and Sanna Veerman of the Netherlands. One final female participant from the Republic of Korea will be named in the near future.