Simone Biles competes on the vault during the first day of the women's P&G Gymnastics Championships on Friday, June 24, 2016, at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. Photo by David Carson, email@example.com
The 2020 U.S. Olympics gymnastics trials for both men and women will be held in St. Louis next June at Enterprise Center, the latest in a series of major gymnastics events in St. Louis.
The competition, which will select America's participants for the Tokyo Olympics, will be held from June 25 to 28, with the women's and men's events alternating days. In conjunction with the trials, USA Gymnastics' national congress and trade show will be held at America's Center. It's the first time the combined Olympic trials have been held in the Midwest.
“We love their bid, and enjoy working with them,” said Li Li Leung, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics. “We have a longstanding relationship, we were there in 2016 for the men's trials and USA championships in 2012, 2016, including that, add on the renovated Enterprise Center, and it was the best bid.”
St. Louis held the men's trials in 2016 at Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University (the women's trials were held in San Jose, Calif.) along with the women's national championships. 2016 marked a rare split of the event, which had seen both men's and women's trials held at the same site going back to 1976. Chaifetz was also the site for the 2018 NCAA women's championships and the 2000 and 2012 U.S. championships.
“In 2012,” said Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion and now a commentator for NBC, “for me, it was a different competition. It was my second time around, and I feel like the second time around, I noticed things like the crowd and the energy I felt from St. Louis. It was a different venue (Chaifetz), but I'm excited to come back. Being on other side, what I remember is the local support from the whole city and the excitement. That's very important at the Olympic trials, being in the same environment as at the Olympics, where it's loud and there's energy.”
The men's competition will start first on June 25, then the women the following day. All competitions but the second day of the men's competition, on June 27, will be held in the evening. The June 27 competition will start at 2 p..m.
The public sale of tickets will begin later this year. Discounted all-session tickets will be available through selected local gymnastics clubs
The events will make 2020 a busy year on the St. Louis sports calendar, with Enterprise already hosting the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 26.
The U.S. women won the gold medal in the team competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Simone Biles won gold in all-around, vault and floor exercise. The U.S. men didn't take any gold medals in Rio; Danell Leyva won silver on horizontal bar and parallel bars.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will run from July 24 to Aug. 9 in Tokyo.