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University of Iowa News Release

July 8, 2003

Gymnasts To Flip For Children's Miracle Network

Gymnasts with Triad Gymnastics in Ankeny will team up with millions of their fellow young gymnasts across the nation to celebrate the sport and raise money for the Children's Miracle Network during the fifth annual National Gymnastics Day on Aug. 2 at their Flip-a-Thon event at Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines.

Participating gymnasts secure pledges within their community for the number of flips the gymnast can perform on National Gymnastics Day. USA Gymnastics is celebrating its third year of partnership with the Children's Miracle Network and to date has raised more than $115,000 for local children's hospitals.

Proceeds of the event will benefit patients and families cared for in Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and its outreach clinics across the state. One hundred percent of all donations to the Flip-a-Thon remain in the local region to benefit critically ill and injured children. More than 100,000 children receive care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa each year, including thousands from central Iowa. The Triad Gymnastics athletes have set a goal to raise more than $6,000.

Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton and legendary Olympic coach Bela Karolyi will co-chair the 2003 National Gymnastics Day. Retton's five medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, including the USA's first-ever all-around Olympic gold medal, were the most medals won by any female athlete at the 1984 Olympics. Karolyi, in his fifth year as honorary chairman, is recognized as one of the great coaches in gymnastics history, having guided 27 different athletes to the Olympics, including Retton, Nadia Comaneci, Kim Zmeskal and Kerri Strug.

National Gymnastics Day annually attracts participation from more than 1,000 gymnastics clubs nationwide, along with celebrity support and testimonials. National Gymnastics Day was recognized by Governor's Proclamations in all 50 states in 2002, along with the endorsement of the United States Olympic Committee.

Log on to for a complete list of gymnastics clubs participating in National Gymnastics Day presented by Mrs. Smith's FlipIt Cake and a nationwide schedule of National Gymnastics Day activities.

Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for 170 children's hospitals throughout North America. Each year this network of premier facilities treat more than 14 million children suffering with all types of afflictions.

Children's Miracle Network partners with 135 radio stations and 200 television stations to help support critically ill and injured children. Since it inception in 1983, Children's Miracle Network has raised more than $2 billion for children's hospitals. Locally, Children's Miracle Network has raised more than $16 million from individuals, corporations, businesses, and civic groups in this region and each dollar raised stays at Children's Hospital of Iowa.

If you have questions regarding making a pledge, or you would like more information about how you can help the Children's Miracle Network cause, contact Tom Klaus at 515-371-1760.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,