Metro gymnasts tumble with excitement as KC to host 2019 USA Gymnastics championships

Jim Cunningham
October 16, 2018 - 6:14 am

© Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City, MO - With news that the 2019 U.S. National Gymnastics Championships is coming to Kansas City, gymnasts at Mercury Gymnastics had a little extra bounce in their steps. 

"I saw something on Instagram today that Laurie Hernandez was here, but I didn't know that (the championships) were going to be here next year," said Lauren Carpenter, 14, a freshman at Park Hill High School. "I'm really excited, so maybe I'll get to watch."

The competition will bring in thousands of tourists and have an economic impact of almost $5 million, said Kathy Nelson, KC Sports Commission president.

"We'll roll out the red carpet for nearly 3,000 coaches, judges, gym club owners, administrators, who all attend the national congress and trade show, right here at the convention center," Nelson said.

"The big goal is, of course, (the Olympics in) 2020," said gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, who spoke at Monday's announcement. "But for next year, the goal would be to compete here in Kansas City for championships next year."

 

Mercury Gymnastics Team Director Laura Habel said she could not wait for tickets to go on sale.

"I was super excited that we were getting to be on a national gymnastics stage and have so many incredible talented gymnasts come in where my gymnasts can go and watch them and continue to be inspired by them," Habel said.

The gymnastics meet will bring a boost of interest in the sport to the area, much like Olympic years, which tend to attract an influx of recreational and pre-school athletes, Habel said.

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