Universal Sports’ “Around the Gym” with Olympians Nastia Liukin and John Roethlisberger to provide Comprehensive Pre- and Post-Competition Coverage
NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES – August 17, 2011 – NBC Sports and Universal Sports will continue their extensive gymnastics coverage by combining to present 13 hours of the Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, this week from the XL Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Universal Sports will present live coverage of the women’s competition this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and the men’s competition Friday at 8 p.m. ET. NBC Sports will carry live primetime coverage of the women’s final day competition on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET and taped coverage of the men’s final day coverage on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET. NBC’s Olympic gymnastics broadcasting team of Al Trautwig, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Tim Daggett, Olympian Elfi Schlegel and Andrea Joyce will call the competition with David Michaels directing all production for both NBC Sports and Universal Sports.
Universal Sports’ pre- and post-competition show Around the Gym returns for its second year. Around the Gym will again be hosted by 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin and three-time Olympian John Roethlisberger. Around the Gym will provide an inside look at the competition, featuring interviews, commentary and analysis both before and after the daily events. The 30-minute shows will air live starting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, prior to the first session on Universal Sports, and immediately following coverage at 10 p.m. ET. On Friday, Around the Gym will start pre-competition coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET and post-competition at 11 p.m. ET. Universal Sports will also broadcast Around the Gym following NBC’s coverage of the women’s final day of competition on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.
UniversalSports.com will provide free, live simulstreams of the competitions and Around the Gym, along with extensive competition highlights, photos, news and blogs, plus athlete interviews and other behind-the-scenes content. Fans can also access Universal Sports’ new iPad app for up-to-date broadcast schedules, breaking news, video highlights, special features and more.
The Visa Championships determine the U.S. champions and the national team for both the junior and senior elite levels in men’s and women’s gymnastics. This year’s competition will feature many of the biggest names in the sport. The women’s field is particularly star-studded, with Olympic all-around silver medalist and former world champion Shawn Johnson competing in her first VISA National Championship since her medal winning performances at the 2008 Beijing Games. Also, 2008 Olympic Team silver medalist Alicia Sacramone will look to continue her dominance on the vault, where she has won five previous national championships and is the reigning world champion.
The highly competitive women’s field also features 2010 world all-around bronze-medalist and defending U.S. champion Rebecca Bross; 2011 American Cup champion Jordyn Wieber, 2008 Olympic team silver medalistand former world champion Chellsie Memmel, and 2010 world all-around finalist and 2011 CoverGirl Classic Champion Alexandra Raisman;
The men’s field is highlighted by 2008 Olympic team bronze medalist and two-time and defending U.S. champion Jonathan Horton. In 2010, Horton landed on his first world all-around podium, winning the bronze medal in Rotterdam. Nationally, Horton will face tough competition from 2010 U.S. all-around silver medalist, Danell Leyva, who challenged Horton at last year’s national championships, but fell about 2.3 points short of the title.
2011 NBC Sports and Universal Sports Broadcast/Web Schedule (All Times ET):
8/18, Around the Gym (LIVE), 7:30 p.m., Universal Sports TV
8/18, Women’s Competition (LIVE), 8 p.m., Universal Sports TV and web
8/18, Around the Gym (LIVE), 10 p.m., Universal Sports TV
8/19, Around the Gym (LIVE), 7:30 p.m., Universal Sports TV
8/19, Men’s Competition (LIVE), 8 p.m., Universal Sports TV and web
8/19, Around the Gym (LIVE), 11 p.m., Universal Sports TV
8/20, Women’s Competition (LIVE), 8 p.m., NBC
8/20, Around the Gym (LIVE), 10 p.m., Universal Sports TV
8/20, Women’s Competition (NBC Re-Air), 10:30 p.m., Universal Sports TV and web
8/21, Men’s Competition (Tape Delay), 4:30 p.m., NBC
ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Universal Sports is available in 52 markets nationwide, including all of the nation’s top 10 media markets and 20 of the top 25, and everywhere on DIRECTV. Major world championship sports events aired on Universal Sports include track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons, figure skating, cycling and rugby. The network’s website, UniversalSports.com, delivers an immersive user experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, interaction with top athletes through interviews and blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year-round. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.