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The city of Fort Worth has become an attractive destination for artistic gymnastics events. The municipality just hosted the National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championship, and yesterday the Fort Worth Sports Commission announced the city’s biggest opportunity in the sport since the Tarrant County Convention Center (as it was then known) hosted the 1979 World Gymnastics Championships. This coming June 4-7, Cowtown will host the 2020 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

You’re going to be more interested in gymnastics next year than usual, because 2020 is an Olympic year. Those who do well at the U.S. championships will earn more than a national title. They’ll advance to the sport’s Olympic Trials in St. Louis later that month for a shot to compete in Tokyo. The elite American competitors in the sport will have the option to break training at Joe T’s or Fred’s, because they’ll all be here barring injury.

In 2004, Carly Patterson was one of those top-level gymnasts. She finished second in the combined all-around competition in the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Nashville. She went on to the Olympic Trials in San Jose and earned a spot on the U.S. team. Patterson won gold in Athens in the All-Around. The Baton Rouge native now resides in North Texas and attended the press conference, along with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and other luminaries. Patterson-Caldwell (as the married mother of two is now known) took photos with some local gymnasts and offers her perspective in the video interview that leads this blog post.

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The event took place at Dickies Arena, and that facility’s president and GM, Matt Homan, spoke as well. The sports commission believes the facility (which has not yet opened to the public) will make it easier to attract national events like the one they announced Wednesday.

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