Gymnastics fans and Olympics enthusiasts from across the country have their attention fixed on San Jose, where the 2012 U.S. Olympics Trials for gymnastics are set to begin today.
At local gymnastic clubs, such as Twisters Sports, which started out as the Los Altos Twisters, and , there is a lot of local enthusiam. That's the case for Allan Fusilero, owner of , which offers gymnastics training to kids from ages eight to 18. According to their receptionist, "everyone's there," she said.
The competition brings the nation's top 15 male and top 15 female gymnasts to the HP Pavilion, where they will tumble, vault and backflip for the chance to land one of 10 available spots on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed—who proclaimed San Jose "Gymnastics City" for the weekend—is joining the athletes, sports fans and city officials at today's opening ceremonies, which were scheduled to start at HP Pavilion at 11:45 a.m.
City Councilman Sam Liccardo, whose district includes the venue, said the community is thrilled to be hosting the event.
"We're all excited about the Olympic trials," Liccardo said. "Increasingly, San Jose has become a destination for major sports events, continuing the momentum as we create a more vibrant downtown."
Liccardo said he would be attending today's ceremony. "I'll be attending the opening ceremonies and participating in the balance beam competition," he joked.
In 2007, San Jose hosted the national gymnastics championships, which San Jose Sports Authority executive director Patricia Ernstrom said is, to date, the most successful such event in terms of attendance and visibility.
Since then, city officials and the Bay Area gymnastics community have worked with the U.S. Olympics Committee to bring the prestigious team trials to San Jose for the first time, Ernstrom said.
"It's a big deal in the sports community, and it's also an event that captures the attention of the larger community," Ernstrom said. "Sports fan or not, it's hard not to be a fan of the Olympics," she said.
The competition begins with the men's trials this afternoon and concludes with the women's finals on Sunday.
"By Sunday evening, we'll know who will be representing our country at the London Olympics," Ernstrom said.
Before and after each day's competition, there will be free block parties and fan fests on the blocked-off streets around HP Pavilion. Fans will be treated to autograph sessions, food booths, live music and fitness games.
Tickets to the competitions are still available, Ernstrom said. They can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by going online at www.usagym.org/pages/events/trials/, where a full schedule of the weekend's events is available.
Information about bus and rail transportation to the event can be found online at www.vta.org.
Taken from Los Altos Patch and Bay City News