Chow's Gymnastics in West Des Moines, home gym of Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson, is hosting the Chow’s Rising Stars Challenge. The meet, which will be held January 16, 17 and 18, 2009, at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, will bring approximately 700 gymnasts, their families and coaches to Greater Des Moines for the weekend.

Beginning Friday morning at 8 a.m. and ending Sunday evening at 9 p.m., this event promises ongoing women’s competitive gymnastics for 13 hours each day. The nearly 700 gymnasts registered to compete are traveling from throughout the Midwest and beyond to be there. Some gymnastics teams are coming from as far away as Indiana and Tennessee.

Owner of Chow’s Gymnastics in West Des Moines and Head Coach of the 2008 United States Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team, Liang Chow, will be directing the meet.

“This will be the premier gymnastics event in Iowa this season,” says Chow. “The competition will be tough. It will be a good test for our optional team’s first meet and a great meet to watch.” The highest-level gymnasts, Levels 9-10, will be performing Saturday evening. Attendance is open to the public and tickets are available at the door.

A guest speaker for the event, Iowa State University’s Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach Jay Ronayne,will also be on hand to discuss collegiate gymnastics. Ronayne will present at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, January 18 in the Awards Room.

Other speakers include:

• Andrea Barnes, Gymnastics Recruiting Consultant

10 a.m. Sunday, January 18

Awards Room, Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Barnes will share the top 10 things you need to know to get started on your quest to earn a collegiate gymnastics scholarship.

• Guest Speaker: Don Zile, Former San Jose Track Coach

10:45 a.m. Sunday, January 18

Awards Room, Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Zile will discuss the keys to a great running stride. His analysis and insights can unlock speed for an explosive vault run and powerful tumbling.

Contact Deb King at (515) 720-7045 with questions.