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St. Louis Sticks Landing To Host 2016 Olympic Team Trials For Men's Gymnastics

USA Gymnastics COO Ron Galimore (right), accompanied by Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton, said St. Louis offers the right environment for the men's Olympic team trials in 2016.
Stephanie Lecci

St. Louis will get the Olympic spirit come 2016, when it will host the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for men's gymnastics.

The event determines which men will represent the U.S. in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. While it's the city's first time hosting Olympic trials, the city has worked with USA Gymnastics previously, hosting the organization's 2000 and 2012 national championships. Those events decide national champions as well as who continues on to Olympic trials.

St. Louis' pre-existing relationship with USA Gymnastics helped the city secure the high-profile event, according to St. Louis Sports Commission president Frank Viverito.

"We build that partnership and then it's amazing that it turns into the ability to bring a big event to our community," he said.

The city also announced Thursday that Chaifetz Arena will host the women's national P&G Championships, an event that determines which women will continue on to compete in Olympic trials in San Jose. This marks the first time the men's and women's trials will be held in separate locations since 1976.

For USA Gymnastics COO Ron Gilamore, St. Louis has offered an "outstanding" environment and resources for competitions at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of St. Louis University.

"We believe in the city, we believe in community, we believe in the St. Louis Sports Commission, that's why we're bringing this marquee event to St. Louis," he said.

Viverito estimates the team trials could bring millions of dollars to St. Louis, as well as national exposure.

"You have the dollars that are spent, you have the national television attention, you have the feel good aspect of it, and you inspire kids, and so all those things in my mind add up to something very significant," he said.

The St. Louis Sports Commission will serve as the host organization for the four-day competition. The team trials will be held on June 24 and 26, 2016, while the women's national championships will be held on June 23 and 25, 2016.