An elite athlete in the Women's Program is defined as any international level gymnast who starts the first Optional event at a Classic competition is considered an Elite gymnast and may not drop back to the Development Program in the same Elite competitive year.
The Elite Program is designed to provide competitive experiences for athletes aspiring to be on the National Team. The National Teams (Senior and Junior) are selected from the U.S. Championships each year. These athletes represent the United States in international competitions.
The National Team Size can be up to 28 athletes. To address our country's needs and mirror the quad age requirements, the junior and senior team sizes will change each year. The Support Programs for the National Team Members will be included in the National Team Handbook and will be presented each year at the National Team Meeting after Championships.
To ensure that support funds are awarded to those athletes who are representing our country at the highest-level meets, the senior and junior funding slots will be determined from the rank order established after USA Championships.
Regional and National Elite clinics, training camps, and competitions are conducted throughout the year to provide educational opportunities and the highest level of technique development to both athletes and coaches working within the Elite Program. Coaches who have an athlete that they believe is ready for the international Elite level competition may submit videos to the High Performance Strategic Lead and request admission to a Developmental Invite, Developmental, or a National Team Training Camp. If accepted, all costs associated with their attendance at camp are the responsibility of the gymnast and coach.
The Talent Opportunity Program (TOPS) is under the direction of the International Elite Committee, with assistance from the National Coaching staff and the High Performance Leadership Team. This program provides early screening and identification of talented athletes. The TOPS program offers Physical Abilities, Skills, and National testing along with clinic opportunities and educational materials for its participants.
Hopes and TOPS program athletes are NOT classified as "Elite" athletes.
Each year after USA Championships, Coaches' Representatives are elected by their peers to the International Elite Committee (IEC) which works closely with the High Performance Leadership Team to develop a strong training program for elite athletes.