Evolution

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For decades, World Champion gymnasts have been competing against each other in professional gymnastic competitions all around the globe. From the first men’s gymnastics competition in the Olympics in 1896 to the women’s Olympic debut in 1928 to the introduction of the new points system in 2006, gymnastics has gone through many stages of growth and change. And now it’s time to evolve again. Evolution has arrived and it brings professional gymnastics like never before.
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Evolution is a brand new gymnastics competition where over 20 Olympic, World Champion and NCAA gymnasts will compete in two teams made up of both men and women. And what’s more, the*audience*will be judging. The fast-paced battle will combine gymnastics, music, lights, atmosphere, adrenaline and excitement to create a new style of competition.
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Some of the competitors spoke to*International Gymnastics Camp, which is hosting the event, and expressed how excited they are to be a part of this new change. Olympic Bronze medalist Justin Spring thinks this is just what the world of gymnastics needs: “Evolution is what every gymnast has talked about doing for a long time.*You’ve taken all the stuff that’s a little slow about gymnastics and over exaggerated the stuff that’s incredible about the sport.â€￾
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“You’ve got the big skills, you’ve got head to head format that’s easy to follow, the energy of the sport and the excitement of the sport all in one. I think it’s just going to amplify into a new sport. It’s going to be incredible.â€￾
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Men and women’s events have traditionally been kept well apart from each other in past competitions. Not in Evolution. It’s about big skills and about being the best. Three times NCAA champion Susan Jackson is excited about taking on her new male competitors: “Competing against a guy is definitely motivation to do well. I think I could maybe take a guy on the floor. I think my double layout might look a little better, I think I could take Jonathan Horton!â€￾
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The competition will be a lot more intimate than previous events with the audience getting to mingle amongst the celebrities as well as participate in the judging. Silver medal Olympic gymnast Jonathon Horton said it will be a ‘new twist’ which keeps the competitive aspect of gymnastics without the traditional, formal side. He also showed his competitive streak: “When the time comes each team is going to have their game face on and it’s going to be a dog fight till the end. I have no problem talking some smack though so the other team better watch out!â€￾
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Champions all across the world of gymnastics are talking about what Evolution could mean for the future of the sport. Three time Olympic medalist and gold medal winner Paul Hamm thinks it’s time to move gymnastics into the next stage of competition: “I think events like this are good for gymnastics. There used to be the Reese’s Cup and Rock ‘n’ Roll gymnastics. I want to see things start to grow and see more of this stuff. People need to start thinking about the other side of gymnastics.â€￾
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Evolution will be held at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 27. Tickets start at $14.50 and are available at www.gymnasticsevolution.com





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