- change ups
Gymnastics meet scores millions
The largest gymnastics meet in Michigan is coming downtown this week, creating a regional economic impact of several million dollars.
Grand Rapids Gymnastics will host Gymnastics on the Grand once again this year at DeVos Place, bringing 2,000 gymnasts and their family and friends to downtown Grand Rapids.
The three-day event, which is sanctioned by USA Gymnastics, will be Dec. 6-8, from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Fifty-four teams from the Midwest will participate.
“We are excited that in just four short years, Gymnastics on the Grand has become the largest gymnastics meet in the state of Michigan,” said Shane Uson, owner and head coach of Grand Rapids Gymnastics. “Downtown Grand Rapids will play host to thousands of athletes and spectators, and Grand Rapids Gymnastics is proud to feature this exciting sport to our community in such a top-notch facility.”
Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission, said that Gymnastics on the Grand is expected to have an economic impact on the region equaling several million dollars.
Throughout the weekend, special guest Carly Patterson, 2004 Olympic All-Around Champion and a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, will be at the competition to meet fans and sign autographs.
Saturday evening is said to be the highlight of the weekend, offering a full range of gymnastics: from the youngest athletes participating in a “fun meet” to the highest-level men and women athletes performing in the ballrooms.
Gymnastics on the Grand organizers will give gymnasts the opportunity to get in front of college recruiters from five states at the event finals on Saturday evening.
Special Olympics athletes will also be featured during the weekend and will perform a short exhibition of their gymnastics skills on Saturday at 4:45 p.m.
“In addition to the USAG athletes, we are excited to support a cause that is near and dear to our hearts — Special Olympics,” Uson said. “Providing the opportunity for the Special Olympics of West Michigan gymnastics team to perform an exhibition makes all the work of hosting such a large event even more worth it.”