Minneapolis to host top gymnastics competition leading to Paris Olympics

A man speaks at a podium while other people sit alongside
Three-time gymnastics Olympian John Roethlisberger, who was also an NCAA champion at the University of Minnesota, speaks at Target Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday, as organizers announced the venue will host the USA Gymnastics Olympic Team Trials in June 2024.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

Updated 1:55 p.m.

Minneapolis next June will host one of the marquee events leading up to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The USA Gymnastics Olympic Team Trials will be held at Target Center to decide which American gymnasts will make the Olympic squad.

St. Paul’s Suni Lee — who won the all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and is aiming to make the Paris team — was on hand for Tuesday’s announcement, along with Gov. Tim Walz and other event supporters and organizers.

“Watching the Olympians who came before me was such an inspiration when I was growing up, and it means so much to know that the young athletes of Minnesota will have a chance to be inspired by the best gymnasts in America,” Lee told the crowd who gathered at Target Center for the event announcement. “I look forward to seeing a full arena here in 2024 and welcoming the gymnastics world to my home state.”

A woman speaks at a podium with a man sitting alongside
Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee speaks at Target Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday. She was joined by Gov. Tim Walz (right), along with other organizers and supporters of the 2024 USA Gymnastics Olympic Team Trials that will be held in Minneapolis in June 2024.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

Lee was one of three Minnesota gymnasts in Tokyo, including Isanti native Grace McCallum, who won a team silver medal, and Spring Park’s Shane Wiskus.

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The Olympic Trials will take place June 27-30 next year. Prior to that, the Minneapolis Convention Center will host the USA Gymnastics Championships and other associated events.

Organizers said they expect nearly 6,000 participants in the various events, and tens of thousands of fans for the competitions, providing a boost for the Twin Cities and Minnesota.

A man speaks at a podium with a USA Gymnastics logo behind him
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks at Target Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

“These major events, like the Olympic Trials for gymnastics, bring tens of thousands of people, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people to our city and to our state,” said Wendy Blackshaw, president and CEO for Minnesota Sports and Events. “It brings economic impact, social impact, reputational impact at a time when we still need to rebuild.”

Walz expanded on the “rebuild” remark following the formal announcement.

“For many people in the world, an exposure to Minnesota — outside it being cold — was George Floyd’s murder. And I think we know there’s so much more to that,” he said. “I think we know the lessons we learned from that, trying to move forward — but it’s exposing (others) to this. I don’t think a lot of people in Minnesota know, we’re a hotbed for these gymnasts — certainly Suni Lee’s victory made that case.”

Tickets for the Olympic Trials are on sale now.

“There is no bigger stage for gymnastics in this country than the Olympic Trials,” USA Gymnastics CEO Li Li Leung said in a statement Tuesday announcing Minneapolis as the competition site. “With world-class venues in a compact urban environment and an incredible track record of successfully hosting large-scale events, Minneapolis is an ideal location.”

Several other big sports events already were announced for the Twin Cities next year, including the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at Target Center, and the NCAA men’s ice hockey Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center.