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Mobile to Host Three Prestigious USA Gymnastics Meets

Feb 4th, 2014

Mobile, AL – The Mobile Sports Authority (MSA), in conjunction with the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (MBCVB) and Planet Gymnastics, announced today that Mobile will host three prestigious USA Gymnastics meets.  First, the 2014 Mardi Gras Invitational will be held at Planet Gymnastics this weekend, February 7-9.  Then later in the year, the 2014 USA Gymnastics Alabama State Compulsory Championships will come to Mobile December 5-7, followed by the 2015 USA Gymnastics Region 8 (Level 7 & 8) Championships April 24-26, 2015.  The two championship meets will take place in the Outlaw Convention Center in downtown Mobile.

The successful bids for these events were a result of the MSA teaming with Planet Gymnastics of West Mobile and the Mobile Bay CVB.  Planet Gymnastics owner Vladimir Novikov, himself a 1988 Olympic Champion, has worked with USA Gymnastics as a national staff member for many years and is well renowned in the gymnastics community, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

The annual Mardi Gras Invitational, having grown to more than 600 young gymnasts over its 17-year existence, welcomes competitors from 5 states, as well as a team from Scotland this year.  The meet will take place at Planet Gymnastics ( at 900 Schillinger Road South in Mobile.  Admission is $7 for adults, $2 for children, and free to those 5 and under. 

For the 2014 Alabama State Compulsory Championships, some 900-1,000 girls (ages 5 and up) are expected to compete in Mobile, while 550-600 girls (ages 8 and up) are expected to compete in the 2015 USA Gymnastics Region 8 (Level 7 & 8) Championships.  All three meets will collectively bring competitors, coaches/officials, family members, and friends from eight states and one international team (Scotland) to Mobile (Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina).  

“With the growing popularity of gymnastics, the MSA has worked hard to attract major gymnastics meets to Mobile for a while now,” said Danny Corte, Executive Director of the Mobile Sports Authority.  “Our perseverance paid off with us finally landing these gymnastics events for Mobile.  With an average of 2,500 visitors expected in town for each of these three meets, that equates to an expected $8 million plus in total economic impact to our area.  

“We’re ecstatic that USA Gymnastics chose Mobile for the first time for their Alabama and Southeast regional championships,” adds Corte.  “Hopefully, these events are just the start.  Working together with Coach Novikov and the Mobile Bay CVB, our team was able to show the USA Gymnastics officials that Mobile is their best choice for these championships. We want to thank USA Gymnastics for showing confidence in us.”

Coach Novikov, who was instrumental in helping to secure these championships, added, “Our Alabama gymnasts are now capable of winning national championships and securing scholarships at top universities.  I put this progress down to our state chair, Deb Walls, who has been at the helm for over 20 years. When Planet Gymnastics first hosted the Alabama State Championships in 1999, it was just a small event held at our gym in West Mobile.  But it has outgrown our facility and we’re excited to have the Mobile Convention Center host over 1,000 athletes and their families in December.”  

Alabama’s USA Gymnastic Chair, Deb Walls, added, “Mobile was selected to host these championship events mainly because of the reputation of Vladimir Novikov.  He is known for developing not only extraordinary athletes, but also for developing life champions as well. In addition, the opportunity to work with Danny Corte with the Mobile Sports Authority and Linda Wehrle with the Mobile Bay CVB created the perfect team.”   

As for the Region 8 Championship meet, Coach Novikov continued, “Region 8 is one of the best in the country, winning many national titles, and I am very honored to have USA Gymnastics bring their Region 8 Championships to Mobile.  It will be a great showcase for our young people and also for our city.  You can bet that future Olympians will be participating and we hope they will remember their experience in Mobile as a special one.”  

The Olympic-governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the United States, USA Gymnastics has been very successful in recent years, recently winning both the team and all-around Olympic gold in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  

About USA Gymnastics
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics. For more complete information, log on to

About The Mobile Sports Authority
The Mobile Sports Authority (MSA), which is a quasi-public non-profit corporation formed in 2008, is an organization whose main mission is to attract, support, and/or manage or co-manage visiting sporting events for the City of Mobile and Mobile County, AL area. The MSA is the Mobile area’s community clearinghouse and main point of contact for sports and sports-related events. For more information about the Mobile Sports Authority, please see   

About the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
The Mobile Bay Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (MBCVB), which is a quasi-public non-profit corporation formed in 1992, is an organization whose main mission is to attract and/or procure various groups, conventions, and meetings to the Mobile area in order to create a positive economic and public relations impact as well as being the main tourism arm for the City of Mobile and Mobile County.  For more information, please see


Danny Corte

Planet Gymnastics contact: 
Vladimir NoVIKOV