Qualification Series for Nastia Liukin Cup kicks off 2021 Women’s Program Events
This past weekend marked the first official qualifying event for the Nastia Liukin Cup 2021 series. The first competition, held January 8th - 10th in Duluth, Georgia, was an important one for the many gymnasts vying for one of the coveted spots.
With 18 Junior and 18 Senior gymnasts able to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup each year, the competition has always been fierce - but never so much as this year. Traditionally, 18 qualifying events take place ahead of the Cup, with one Junior and one Senior athlete qualifying at each. This year, due to Covid related restrictions and subsequent cancellations, there will only be a total of 12 events. Though the number of selected competitors remains the same, the number of opportunities to perfect their performance is significantly fewer, which adds to the immense pressure to qualify.
The 2021 series marks the 12th annual edition of the Cup, which will be held for the first time in conjunction with the Winter Cup.
USA Gymnastics published, “For decades, Winter Cup has been exclusively a men's artistic gymnastics event. Starting in 2021, Winter Cup will feature an expanded field that will include both men’s and women’s junior and senior artistic gymnasts.”. This year the Winter Cup will serve as a qualifying event, for both men and women, to the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. In an effort to maximize the limited amount of time for a competitive season, the now expanded Winter Cup will be held in conjunction with the Elite Team Cup and the Nastia Liukin Cup - making for one exciting and gymnastics packed weekend in Indianapolis.
Though the events will be closed to the public for the first time, they will be broadcast on NBC networks on February 26-27, 2021.