GK Ladies' Unitards and Men's Competition Shirts and Pants Showcased at La Biennale di Venezia

GK Elite gymnastics apparel was featured this past month at the "Gloria" art exhibit at the 54th La Biennale di Venezia, a bi-annual gathering of artists in Venice which was organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  The exhibit was created by Allora and Calzadilla and combines performance, sculpture, video, and sound elements.  The event exhibited U.S. male and female gymnasts, including 2007 U.S. All-Around Champion David Durante and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Chellsie Memmel, wearing GK Ladies' Unitards and men's Competition Shirts and Pants.

 
David Durante performs in GK competitive tank and pantsDavid Durante performs in GK competitive tank and pants

Male gymnasts such as David Durante showed off their quick movements and power in the Body in Flight (American) exhibition which used elite business class seats to imitate pommel horses.  For his routine, David wore a  GK Men's Competition Shirt style 1963 in red with white piping.  Click here to explore all of the competitive men's gymnastic apparel that GK has to offer.

When we asked David Durante about his thoughts on the Venice Biennale he remarked, "Being that the Venice Beinnale is the pinnacle of the contemporary art world, it is only fitting that GK came on board to provide the gymnastics uniforms for the performers of the Body in Flight pieces.  They make the best and most comfortable uniforms I've ever worn and wearing the USA across my chest again for this event brought me back to my competition days when I was a part of Team USA.  They went out of their way to provide a variety of unique styles for both the men and women that brought the whole American exhibit to another level."

Chellsie Memmel performs in GK competitive unitardChellsie Memmel performs in GK competitive unitard

Olympic medalist Chellsie Memmel and other elite female gymnasts performed in the Body in Flight (Delta) exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia wearing GK Ladies' Unitards.  An airline seat replica was created by the artists to represent a balance beam on which the gymnasts executed routines using their flexibility and fluidity.  Chellsie performed in the unitard version of the GK Symmetrical V Neck Competition Leotard style 9559, which is featured on the cover of the 2011-2012 Competitive Wear catalog as "Nastia Liukin's Leotard Choice".  Create your very own Special Order leotard like the one worn by Chellsie Memmel by clicking here.

Chellsie Memmel and David Durante perform in GK Apparel

Still want to learn more about La Biennale di Venezia?  Check out www.imamuseum.org/venice/about/exhibition to explore the event and view pictures of the gymnasts performing in GK gymnastics apparel!

Leave a Comment

Universal Gymnastics in GK Leotards at WoodWard West

Check out Universal Gymnastics of Lake Havasu City, Arizona who recently attended WoodWard West Gymnastics Camp.  They look awesome in their GK Yellow Racerback Camp Leotard Style E1723 that they ordered to match WoodWard's logo colors!  This gymnastics workout leotard is also available in bright orange, aqua, candy pink, grape and lime.  Get yours today!  They are only available through August 15, 2011 while supplies last!

Universal Gymnastics at Woodward West
Leave a Comment

Elite Sportswear Manufactures adidas Leotards for Team USA at 2004 Olympic Games

Did you ever wonder how GK became the choice of champions all over the world?  This month we will feature a series of articles tracking the evolution of GK gymnastics apparel and the company's involvement in the world of gymnastics.

Paul Hamm competes at the 2004 Olympic Games in AthensElite Sportswear was recruited to manufacture adidas gymnastics apparel for the USA Gymnastics Team for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.  USA gymnasts earned the All Around Medals for both the women and the men and both teams won silver medals!  GK also outfitted Australia, Uzbekistan, and Belarus Trampoline. 

The year 2006 marked GK Elite Sportswear's 25th Anniversary.  For the entire year, the anniversary was celebrated with GK Days, themed months, and employee drawings to win gifts.  The most exciting celebration was an Open House that was held with Carly Patterson and Paul Hamm, who are both 2004 Individual All Around Olympic Gold Medalists.  Two new lines were also released, including a Team Coordinate Line and a Streetwear Line.

Check out all of GK's new 2011-2012 gymnastics apparel by visiting www.gkelite.com!

Leave a Comment

GK Gymnastic Leotards Go International at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta

Did you ever wonder how GK became the choice of champions all over the world?  This month we will feature a series of articles tracking the evolution of GK gymnastics apparel and the company's involvement in the world of gymnastics.

Lilia Podkopayeva wears GK at the 1996 Olympic GamesAt the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, the GK logo was worn by none other than Lilia Podkopayeva of Ukraine, the Women's All Around Gold Medalist, along with the rest of the Ukrainian gymnasts.  Also wearing GK were the gymnasts of Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Latvia.  Although the gold medal U.S. women's team did not wear GK for the Olympic Games, all but one showed up in GK leotards for their People Magazine's "Most Amazing People in 1996" photo shoot after they were asked to wear their favorite leotards!

In 1997, GK Elite Sportswear's emergence into the gymnastics world prompted them to relocate from their tiny 25,000 square foot facility to a much larger 92,800 square foot facility on 13th Street in Reading, Pennsylvania.

GK's international relations continued to improve in 1999 when the company clinched a contract with the German National Gymnastic Federation to become the official sponsor of the German National Team.  This same year, Wolfgang Bohner of Germany became GK Elite's first international distributor.  Today, GK has 28 international distributors covering 52 countries!


Check out all of the new gymnastics apparel GK Elite has to offer by visiting www.gkelite.com!

Leave a Comment

GK Supports Men's Gymnastics!

Through GK Elite's continuing support of men's gymnastics and commitment to quality, variety, and service, GK has all but taken over the world of men's gymnastic apparel.  GK has been committed to the men's gymnastic program from the very beginning and continues to support initiatives like USA Gymnastics' Junior Olympic program.  More than 5,000 Junior Olympian boys have competed in GK garments over the past couple of decades.  The wide variety of IN STOCK and Special Order Competitve Apparel and warm-up choices available make GK stand out from the crowd.  World Class Gymnast Jonathan Horton recognizes GK's commitment and chooses to compete in GK competitive wear.
Jonathan Horton
"The USA Men's Team is always appreciative of the outstanding uniforms that Elite provides for us.  Every year.  Elite produces the highest quality uniforms that are cutting edge in both design and performance.  Our athletes always have full confidence in their apparel when they are competing and representing the USA.  Elite's goals are synonymous with ours; to be the best at what we do!"

~ Kevin Mazeika, U.S. Men's National Team Coordinator

Be the best at what you do by checking out all of GK's gymnastic IN STOCK and Special Order apparel today!
Leave a Comment

GK Gymnastic Leotards Debut at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics

Did you ever wonder how GK became the choice of champions all over the world?  This month we will feature a series of articles tracking the evolution of GK gymnastics apparel and the company's involvement in the world of gymnastics.

Shannon Miller competes in GK at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games1992 was a big year for GK Elite, which at the time was a small company trying to make its mark in the gymnastics world.  At the Barcelona Olympic Games the little GK logo became familiar to gymnastics fans all over the world when it was worn by the U.S. Team.  Gymnasts including Shannon Miller, Kim Zmeskal, Kerri Strug, Dominique Dawes, John Roethlisberger, and Chris Waller competed in GK gymnastics apparel.

In 1993, GK went global when it clinched its first international contract with none other than Ukraine, one of the top ranked countries in gymnastics.  GK now outfitted World Champions and living legends such as Tatiana Gutsu, Rustam Sharipov, Gregory Missiutin, Igor Korobchinsky, and Lilia Podkopayeva.

The company did not settle with this success.  They continued to pursue the world of gymnastics through gymnast endorsements.  Shannon Miller, the most decorated female gymnast in the United States history, endorsed GK Elite and created the Shannon Miller Workout Line, which has now become the GK Workout Essentials Line.  Two top international gymnasts from Belarus also endorsed GK at this time.  Svetlana Boguinskaia became GK's first female international endorsee and Vitaly Scherbo the first male endorsee.

See why GK is the choice of champions.  Check out our new 2011-2012 gymnastics wear at www.gkelite.com.

Leave a Comment

GK Elite Gymnastics Leotards Evolve Through the 1980's

Did you ever wonder how GK became the choice of champions all over the world?  This month we will feature a series of articles tracking the evolution of GK gymnastics apparel and the company's involvement in the world of gymnastics.

GK Elite's Original Location in Reading, PAGK Elite's story began in a small 25,000 square foot facility with just 35 employees.  In the early 80's, the tiny company decided to change their focus to a new area: gymnastics.  Boasting only one type of fabric in just eight basic sport colors, GK dove into the manufacturing of gymnastics leotards in 1981.  In fact, GK was the first company to put piping in their leotard designs.  Today, GK offers over 130 fabric-color combinations and over 100 piping options!


GK proved it could hold its own when Elite Sportswear became the official supplier of leotards for the U.S. National Gymnastics Team in 1989.  Through this deal, the small leotard company located in Reading, Pennsylvania became one of the most recognized insignias in the gymnastics world!

Check out how far GK has come and browse all of our newest leotards by visiting www.gkelite.com.  And don't worry, there is a much more extensive selection of fun and innovative fabrics and colors than there was back in 1981!
Leave a Comment

Lauren Mitchell Chooses GK

Lauren Mitchell is an Australian gymnast who has a long list of accomplishments under her belt.  Her perseverance and hard work ethic make her one of the most dedicated and determined gymnasts in the world. 
Lauren Mitchell chooses GK

She separates herself from other world class gymnasts and wins the admiration of fans and judges through her many innovative, complex, and challenging routines.  In 2009, she earned two silver medals at the World Championships on the beam and floor.  She truly made her mark in 2010 when she fought through a string of injuries to become the World Floor Champion. 

Lauren can be seen wearing a variety of GK Elite Special Order Leotards when she competes.  She trusts the brand who shares the same dedicated and hard working mentality.

Stand out from the crowd in the Choice of Champions, GK Elite Special Order Leotards!
Leave a Comment

Struggling with a decision to miss practice for summer family vacation?

The decision to miss practice for summer family vacation comes around every year. Most gymnasts decide to take that time to get away and spend a week or more with their family. Gymnastics is a year round sport, however most coaches, in almost any sport, would tell you that it's healthy to have some time away from daily practices.

Here are a few summer vacation tips to help gymnasts stay in tiptop gymnastics shape:

1. Every gymnast should first ask their coach and make sure that missing practice is acceptable.
2. A coach may want a gymnast to organize practice at a gymnastics facility close to where they will be vacationing. If available, take the opportunity to help yourself improve your gymnastics skills and return to your gym in topnotch shape.
 
3. If another gymnastics facility is not available, a gymnast can use the workout room in hotels and even on cruises. Keeping up with your cardio on cardio machines and also making use of the free weights will be in the best interest of a gymnast.
4. If a workout room is not available, you can simply condition yourself anywhere (in a house, in a hotel room or even on the beach).

Here are some exercises that do not need any machines or equipment:

·      Push-ups

·      Abdominal Exercises

·      Jump rope

·      Walking squats

·      Pull-ups

·      Running

·      Jogging in place

·      Toe-raises

·      Handstand Holds


Stretching is the most important exercise of all! If a gymnast does not stretch while being away from the sport for a while, injury can easily occur when returning back to gymnastics.
 

Make sure to show off and wear your GK Elite Gymnastics Apparel while vacationing!

Leave a Comment

Mental Preparation For Those Balance Beam Nerves


Whether you’re just starting gymnastics or have been competing for years, balance beam nerves seem to never go away. Struggling with inconsistency, fear and anxiety are common issues gymnasts face when it comes to the balance beam. From my experience, I have learned some pointers to help subside beam nerves and have also learned how to mentally prepare before getting on the beam.

Here are some helpful hints for balance beam workers:


1.     No matter what your nervous or scared about, (such as attempting that new skill for the first time on the high beam) the balance beam will ALWAYS be just a tan line over a blue mat. The height of the beam does NOT matter!

 

2.     Before getting on the beam, you should always first do a practice skill/routine on a line on the floor. Doing more of each skill helps with consistency, and consistency helps suppress nerves.

 

3.     After practicing the skill/routine on the floor, a mental routine should be conducted in your head with your eyes closed. Picture yourself up on the beam doing your skill/routine with confidence and consistency from beginning to end!

 

4.     “Cues”- Each one of your skills should have a cue. A cue is a word or phrase that you say in your head before performing that skill each time. An example: If you have trouble doing a front tuck and landing with your chest down, you would say “Chest Up” to yourself every time before you perform that skill. This helps remind yourself to focus on that problem area, which is especially necessary during a beam routine with multiple skills. Don’t forget to use your “cues” when doing your mental routine in your head!

 

5.     “Beam center”- The beam center is considered your belly button. Always focus on pulling up through your stomach and keeping your beam center over the middle of the beam during skills/routines on the floor, mental routines and on the balance beam.

Most importantly, you need CONFIDENCE on balance beam. Without confidence in yourself you will get nowhere while learning new skills or perfecting them on the high beam.

Looking your best in GK Elite Custom Gymnastics Leotards will also help you feel confident and graceful while practicing and competing balance beam!

Leave a Comment

GK Elite Presents the "Color Your Leo" Contest

Now's your chance to win Four (4) All-Session VIP Tickets and four (4) Hospitality passes for the Visa Championships!   Color Your Own Custom Gymnastics Leotard or Tank & Shorts combo for your chance to win.

GK Elite Color Your LeotardThe Grand Prize also includes a custom replica of the winning gymnastics apparel made by GK Elite, your leotard featured at the GK Elite "Evolution of a Leotard" booth, an invitation to model your leotard at the GK Elite Fashion Show in Saint Paul, and your leotard design being featured in the 2011 Visa Championships program guide.

The contest deadline is Friday, July 22, 2011.  All coloring pages must be returned to USA Gymnastics by this date to be eligible for the contest.  There is no age limit.  Contest entries are limited to one per person.  The winner will be chosen by USA Gymnastics and GK Elite.  Click Here to download your coloring pages.

Return all pages to USA Gymnastics c/o Jackie Magnuson, 132 E Washington St, Suite 700, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or email them to marketing@usagym.org.
Leave a Comment

We are GK. We are Gymnastics.

The most recognized and celebrated gymnasts continue to choose GK Elite to outfit them for their biggest gymnastics competitions.  They choose and trust GK because we make the very Nastia Liukinfinest gymnastics apparel on the planet and provide the very best service. 

GK does not merely manufacture Gymnastics Leotards, but has also become deeply involved in gymnastics at all levels.  GK Elite has sponsored more than two decades of Junior Olympians, as well as outfitting world champions such as Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.  GK is fully embedded in the sport of gymnastics. 

"GK's commitment to excellence in the development and production of their apparel and their service to our athletes and clubs is their cornerstone.  This philosophy coupled with their innovative design is why GK is recognized as the premier apparel manufacturer, both nationally and internationally."

~ Kathy Kelly, USA Gymnastics Vice President Women's Program

Leave a Comment

Why We Love the GK Design Studio!

Not sure exactly how your leotard creation will turn out?  With GK Elite's new Design Studio, you can be certain that you will absolutely love your gymnastics leotard before placing your order.  After you find your Special Order garment on www.gkelite.com, just click DESIGN IT to customize your team apparel.  Follow the step-by-step instructions to choose your team fabrics and colors, embellishments, options and alterations for your look.  Create, view and order the perfect team gymnastics garment every time!
GK Design Studio

Leave a Comment

Check Out CEK Gymnastics!

If travelling to Europe, be certain to include a visit to our store in the Netherlands, CEK Gymnastics in Zwijndrecht!  There, you will find all your gymnastics essentials.  CEK Gymnastics is specialized in selling GK and adidas gymnastics apparel, including men's and women's competitive and workout leotards, tanks, and shorts, as well as gymnastics shoes, grips, magnesium, t-shirts, and track suits. 

CEK Gymnastics Shop
You can stop in anytime from Wednesday until Saturday between the hours of 9.30 and 17.00 and on Thursdays from 9.30 to 20.00 to buy all your essential gymnastics wear.  See you there!
Leave a Comment

The Liukin Legend

GK is honored to be attached to the legendary Liukin name, which is highly recognized in the world of competitive gymnastics. 

Valeri & Nastia LiukinValeri Liukin began gymnastics at the age of seven and made his name famous in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, when he won two gold medals and two silver medals for the Soviet Union.  After moving his family to the United States, Valeri now co-owns three World Olympic Gymnastic Academy (WOGA) facilities and lives in Parker, Texas.  Valeri Liukin trusts none other than GK Elite to outfit his high caliber gymnasts who compete in his WOGA facilities.  He says, "GK has been the choice of all our champions."

His daughter, Nastia, followed in his footsteps, making her mark in competitive gymnastics.  The Olympic medalist and 2008 Olympic All Around Champion represents GK Elite as one of its endorsed athletes and designs her own signature collection of Nastia and SuperGirl workout leotards. 

"It's so important to have the confidence in your leotard, not only on the competitive floor, but in training.  Training is what gets you to the level of gymnastics that you are.  For 7 hours a day, 6 days a week, it's very important to feel comfortable and confident.  With GK leotards, I know that's never a problem."
- Nastia Liukin

Feel comfortable and confident in training and in competition by checking out Nastia Liukin's SuperGirl gymnastics leotards and apparel and the Nastia Liukin Collection.

Leave a Comment

Elite Sportswear Announces Operations Management Changes

Elite Sportswear, L.P., the world’s largest manufacturer of gymnastics leotards and a leading provider of cheerleading uniforms, has announced the restructuring of the company’s Senior Management for Operations.

Don CascianoDonato Casciano has been hired as Executive Vice President of Operations.  Donato comes to Elite with 35 years of apparel manufacturing experience.  Most recently, he was the Director of Operations for Boathouse Sports, Inc., a niche manufacturer of rowing apparel.  Formerly the Director of Global Production for Under Armour, Donato’s leadership was integral to the company’s early stages of rapid growth.


In a series of related moves, Jeff Fields has been hired as the Production Manager of Cutting and Sewing.  Jeff brings 30 years of garment manufacturing experience to Elite, most recently with American Apparel in Los Angeles. There, he implemented quality control, auditing procedures and production lead times for on-time delivery within 22 facilities.

Nan Hurlburt was named to fill the newly-created position of Technical Design Director.  Nan comes to Elite with broad-based manufacturing and business experience from owning DesignWorks, a cheerleading and dancewear company in Massachusetts.

Mark Bowers, the new Quality Control Auditor, will oversee all quality processes including a beefed-up quality control department. Mark previously was Director of Quality Control at Ardmore Blouse in New York.

According to Dan Casciano, President and CEO, these changes will position Elite Sportswear for future growth in its gymnastic and cheerleading business units.  “The demand for our gymnastics products has been remarkable, given that we already are the market leader.” Casciano added, “We’re very excited to have these associates join our Elite family to help serve the gymnastics and cheerleading markets with greater innovation, quality and efficiency.”

GK-Elite Sportswear is the world’s leading supplier of gymnastics apparel and is recognized around the world for superior variety, quality, fit and service. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Elite Sportswear, L.P., the company behind the GK and adidas brands, continues its commitment to American-made quality and continuous innovation in designs for gymnastics leotards, cheerleading uniforms, and dance team apparel.


Leave a Comment

Injured? How to work towards a successful comeback

Injuries can cause major setbacks in an athlete’s career, causing them to be a gymnast’s worst nightmare. I have experienced many different injuries, which resulted in 4 major surgeries during my 19 years in gymnastics. Learning that there are numerous steps an athlete MUST take in order to comeback successfully, I am going to share with you my insight on some of the important tips to help an injured gymnast comeback from an injury, stronger than ever.

 

1.     The term “RICE” is often referred to as one of the most important terms an athlete must abide by during an injury:

·       Rest- Resting an injury and not pushing yourself too soon to get back to hard pounding (tumbling) is an important key in the recovery process. Rest will also help in the prevention of other injuries.

·       Ice- Icing an injury will help with decreasing inflammation. The best method of icing is called ice massage. Freeze water in a cup, which will result in a block of ice. Massage the injured area for NO longer than 20 minutes with the ice block. Also, never apply an ice bag directly on the skin.

·       Compression- Compression will reduce swelling of the affected part of your body. I have found that ace bandages are the most effective way to compress an injury. Do NOT wrap an injury too tight. 

·       Elevation- Elevating an injury also helps to prevent swelling. Usually an injury should be elevated above your heart.

 

2.     Staying in good physical shape is another important aspect in successful comebacks.

·       If you have an injury to an upper body extremity, here are a few of the easiest ways to keep up with your cardio and strength:

o   Riding the stationary bike with your legs

o   Running on the treadmill

o   Lots of abdominal workouts

o   Depending on your age/level, weight training with the legs

o   Floor dance throughs with no upper body baring and sprinting the tumbling passes 3x

o   Dance throughs and turns on the low beam

·       If you have an injury to a lower body extremity, here are a few of the easiest ways to keep up with your cardio and strength:

o   Riding the stationary bike with only your arms

o   Any conditioning exercise that does not use your legs (i.e. pull-ups, rope climb, handstands etc.)

o   Lots of abdominal workouts

o   Depending on your age/level, weight training with the arms

o   Swinging on the strap bar (i.e. tap swings, giants, free hips etc.)

·       Water therapy is also an effective way to help keep up with your cardio while injured because there is no weight bearing involved:

o   Swimming laps

o   Treading water

o   Running in the water

3.     Physical rehabilitation is also extremely important in helping an athlete reach their fullest training potential again. Physical therapy can be done on your own or with a physical therapist. This will help you to reach 100% + before returning to full gymnastics training.

Every gymnast must take time to heal so they can get back to full practice and competition. This is necessary because everyone wants to be out there practicing and competing in their GK Elite Gymnastic Leotards and Apparel!

Leave a Comment

GK Gymnastics Apparel to be Featured at La Biennale di Venezia

This June, GK Gymnastics Apparel will be featured in the “Gloria” art exhibit at the 54th La Biennale di Venezia, a bi-annual gathering of artists in Venice. GK competitive tanks and unitards will be worn by famous U.S. gymnasts and track & field athletes who will serve as living statues in the exhibit at the U.S. Pavilion. These athletes include Olympic gold medalist Dan O’Brien (Decathalon, 1996), Olympic silver medalist Chellsie Memmel (Women’s Gymnastics, 2008) and U.S. All-Around champion David Durante (Men’s Gymnastics, 2007.) 

La Biennale di Venezia

 

"USA Gymnastics is pleased to have the opportunity to work with an accomplished group of artists to internationally showcase the beauty and artistry of the sport of gymnastics," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "We are honored to partner with the Indianapolis Museum of Art and have the opportunity to be a part of this prestigious exhibit."

 

“Gloria” is the creation of Allora & Calzadilla, meant to combine performance, sculpture, video and sound elements. The works will draw on competitive enterprises such as the Olympic Games, international commerce, the military industrial complex and even the Biennale itself, to explore the concepts of competition and nationalism. The works playfully combine installation and performance art to create artistic experiments that explore the nature of physical, visual, and audible sensory experiences.

           

For more information about the exhibit or the event as a whole click here.

Leave a Comment

Behind the Make It or Break It Leo: Spring Finale

Welcome to Behind the Make It or Break It Leo: A weekly spotlight on the GK Gymnastics Apparel worn in each of this season's Make It or Break It episodes.  Each week, you’ll get a sneak preview of one of the leotards worn in that night’s episode. 

Gymnastics Warm Up Jacket

© ABC Family


Tonight, Kaylie & Lauren will be wearing GK’s Special Order Warm Up Jacket Style 8771. 
The design of this gymnastics warm up jacket was inspired by the bold, graphic lines of the fun fashions from the 1960's -The red, "white" & blue colors are perfect for representing the USA, incorporated into a fresh looking design to give the team an all new look.  The smooth, flowing style lines of this jacket enhance the graceful motions of the gymnasts.  This style will be available for sale on the GK Website in mid-June. Shop other styles from this season on Make It or Break It here!


Do you have a favorite Make It or Break It leotard? Tell us about it below!

 

Leave a Comment

Kim Zmeskal Still Chooses GK!

A few weeks ago, former Olympian Kim Zmeskal stopped by our booth at Level 9 Westerns, in San Diego. Kim is a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist and World Champion. She and her husband own Texas Dreams, in Coppell, Texas and host the Annual Texas Prime Gymnastics Meet. Kim looks to GK to provide custom leotards for her Legendz Classic. We thought she looked great under the sign, GK Elite Sportswear: Choice of Champions.... even former Champions!

Kim Zmeskal.  GK.  Choice of Champions.


Leave a Comment