HARTFORD, CT – Six Downtown Hartford restaurants will participate in the “Capital City's Taste of the Championships”, as part of the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships that is scheduled for August 15-18 in Hartford. The “Capital City's Taste of the Championships” is a joint effort between the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, USA Gymnastics, and St. Vincent Sports Performance, a national sponsor of USA Gymnastics, to promote healthy eating.Bela Karolyi Each of the six restaurants will create a special, healthy entrée to be featured on the menu during P&G Gymnastics Championships week. The goal is to produce a tasty, but nutritionally sound dish that will dazzle a panel of judges that will be led by legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi and includes Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra and USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny.From August 15 through August 17 at lunchtime, Karolyi and his team will visit the restaurants to sample their special signature dishes, which also are being reviewed by a nutritionist with St. Vincent Sports Performance to determine the healthiest item. The judges will critique the entrées on taste, presentation, nutritional value, creativity and “gymnastics tie-in,” which means name and presentation, among other criteria.The six “Capital City's Taste of the Championships” restaurants are: Agave Grill at 100 Allyn St.; City Steam Brewery Café at 942 Main St.; DISH Bar & Grill at 900 Main St.; Feng Asian Bistro at 93 Asylum St.; Max Downtown at 185 Asylum St.; and Salute Restaurant at 100 Trumbull St. In addition, a “Let’s Eat” network of 10 Hartford restaurants will offer a 20-percent discount for P&G Gymnastics Championships tickets and credential holders, as well as those with a USA Gymnastics Congress credential. The 10 “Let’s Eat” restaurants are: Black Bear Saloon at 187 Allyn St.; Burger Baby at 283 Asylum St.; Carbone’s Ristorante at 588 Franklin Ave.; DISH Bar & Grill at 900 Main St.; Front Street Bistro at 39 Front St.; Hot Tomato’s at One Union Place; Peppercorn’s Grill at 357 Main St.; Salute Restaurant at 100 Trumbull St.; The Russian Lady at 100 Ann Uccello St.; and The Tavern Downtown at 201 Ann Uccello St.Background Information·         The 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships, USA Gymnastics’ premier annual event, will take place at the XL Center in Hartford, Con. on August 15-18, 2013. The four-day event will showcase the country’s top male and female gymnasts vying for the coveted title of U.S. champion. Performances determine the make-up of the U.S. National Team and may be a factor in selecting the U.S. Team for international events, including the World Championships. For more information, visit www.usagym.org. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

·         The Connecticut Convention Center. The Connecticut Convention Center, which has a total of 540,000 sq. ft. space, is the site for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show. The facility offers an outdoor esplanade overlooking the Connecticut River and is connected to both the Marriott Hartford Downtown and the Connecticut Science Center.

·         XL Center. The XL Center, managed by AEG Connecticut, will host two days of competition for both men's and women's gymnastics. The XL Center is home to the University of Connecticut Men's & Women's Basketball teams along with the Connecticut Whale, the American Hockey League affiliate of the New York Rangers. In addition to resident teams, the XL Center entertains millions of visitors annually with a variety of concerts, family shows, sporting events, consumer & trade shows. The XL Center is Connecticut's home for premier sports & entertainment.

·         The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau works in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and surrounding communities to market all of Connecticut – all convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conventions. The Connecticut Sports Convention Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events.

·         USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Originally called the U.S. Gymnastics Federation, the USGF was established in Tucson, Ariz., and opened its first office in the home of Frank Bare, the new executive director, in January 1963. The Board of Directors began the task of creating a viable national program for gymnastics in the United States. Due to the hard work of U.S. gymnastics pioneers – Frank Bare, Paul Fina, Harold Frey, Charlie Pond and Gene Wettstone, to name a few – the USGF replaced the Amateur Athletic Union as the sport’s national governing body and gained membership in the International Gymnastics Federation in 1970. The USGF began doing business as USA Gymnastics in 1993. Trampoline and tumbling joined USA Gymnastics in 1999, just prior to trampoline’s addition to the Olympic program, and acrobatic gymnastics became the newest discipline in 2002.  During the last 50 years, the sport has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, approximately 127,000 athletes and professionals and nearly 2,500 clubs are members of USA Gymnastics. That number includes more than 96,000 athletes registered in competitive programs.  Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics. For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.