Even if you watched every second of NBC's Summer Olympics coverage last year, you can be forgiven for not knowing what the heck acrobatic gymnastics is. This is not the gymnastics of America's favorite Iowan sprite Shawn Johnson. Nor is it that frou-frou rhythmic gymnastics stuff with hoops and twirling sashes and whatnot. Acrobatic gymnastics focuses more on forming a fluid balance of graceful movement using brute strength and cooperation with partners. It used to be called sport gymnastics, and there's a reason for that. Rather than jumping around on a balance beam or springing over a vault, competitors in this brand of gymnastics do choreographed routines, creating human pyramids and hoisting partners in time with music. The 2009 Freedom Cup will host international gymnasts from around the world, while the Junior Olympic National Championships will invite the nation's best young acrobatic gymnasts from across the country to compete for one of the highest honors USA Gymnastics, the sport's governing body, offers. Qualifying teams will go on to the 2009 championships this August in Dallas.
July 13-15, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Thu., July 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 2009