For more information, contact:
The St. Louis Sports Commission




            ST. LOUIS – Sept. 13, 2011 – As the region gets ready to host the 2012 Visa Championships (June 7-10 at Chaifetz Arena), St. Louis will be part of an attempt to break the world record for most simultaneous handstands.  The attempt, organized by USA Gymnastics in celebration of National Gymnastics Day, will take place at noon on Saturday (Sept. 17).  More than 90 gymnastics clubs across the United States are expected to participate.  In St. Louis, the world record attempt will occur on the north lawn of Chaifetz Arena.  The current handstand record is 2,402, set in 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. 

Gymnasts and non-gymnasts of all ages are invited to kick up their feet to break the mark.  There is no cost and no pre-registration necessary to participate, although organizers will accept donations to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network.  In addition to the handstand world record attempt, other National Gymnastics Day activities will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The St. Louis Sports Commission, Chaifetz Arena and local gymnastics clubs are partnering with USA Gymnastics on the events in
St. Louis.

“We encourage everyone to come out for the National Gymnastics Day festivities,” said Sports Commission President Frank Viverito.  “It’s a terrific way to get our community excited for the 2012 Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena.  We look forward to welcoming fans from all over the country to St. Louis in June.”     

Global Spectrum’s Jim Wynkoop, general manager of Chaifetz Arena, said, “National Gymnastics Day is a tremendous way to kick off the year-long celebration for the 2012 Visa Championships.  We are excited that all eyes from around the nation will be on the gymnasts competing in St. Louis.”

“It is wonderful to have the support of so many clubs in the St. Louis area in our celebration of National Gymnastics Day,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “Their support will be instrumental in making National Gymnastics Day and next year’s Visa Championships a huge success.”

“Children’s Miracle Network of Greater St. Louis is excited to partner with the St. Louis Sports Commission, Chaifetz Arena and USA Gymnastics on this unique event,” said Maria Langston, executive director of Children’s Miracle Network.  “The children treated at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center face incredible challenges every day, and working together to accomplish such an amazing feat honors their spirit in a truly beneficial way.”


  Parking for Saturday’s National Gymnastics Day activities is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Chaifetz Arena parking lot.  The entrance is located on Compton, just north of Market Street.  Ample street parking is also available around the venue.  Additional parking will be available in Saint Louis University’s Olive Street garage at the intersection of Olive and Compton. 

VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS TICKETS:  All-session tickets will go on sale this Fall.  For more information on the Visa Championships, log on to

GYMNASTICS HISTORY IN ST. LOUIS:  St. Louis and the Sports Commission previously hosted the event in 2000 when it preceded the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.  The Championships played a role in determining the U.S. Olympic team that year.  In 2012, St. Louisans will again have a chance to see America’s best gymnasts compete on the road to the Summer Games.  The 2012 Visa Championships lead into the U.S. Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif., and the London Olympics.


The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit
organization that benefits St. Louis through sports.

Its mission is to make the St. Louis region a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports.

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