Thursday, January 04, 2007

LEXINGTON – The Kentucky gymnastics team is set to host “Excite Night” for the 23rd consecutive year when it opens the 2007 season against two-time defending national champion Georgia on Jan. 12 at Memorial Coliseum.

The night, themed “La nuit de l’excitation!” which translates from French to “The Night of Excitement!” centers on a “Cirque du Soleil” theme, as the entire event will be based off the popular modern circus.

This year’s Excite Night should be the biggest and the best in the history of the event, which saw Kentucky perform in front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 6,000 a year ago. On Jan. 12 at 6 p.m., “La nuit de l’excitation!” kicks off. Accompanying the dazzling gymnastics routines from the Wildcats, will be numerous games and contests with the Cirque du Soleil theme.

The doors open at 6 p.m. and events for the kids begin at 6:30 p.m. Just 15 minutes before the start of the meet, special Cirque du Soleil performances begin and lead into the first introduction of the 2007 UK gymnastics team to the home crowd. At 7 p.m., the gymnastics takes over as two of the nation’s top teams square off. Post-meet activities include an autograph signing session by the UK gymnasts.

As with all Wildcat meets, tickets are just $5 for adults and $2 for children and are available from the UK Ticket Office by calling 1-800-928-CATS (2287). Season tickets are also available at the low price of $10. Fans are also able to purchase tickets the night of the event from the Memorial Coliseum ticket office.

The 2007 version of the Kentucky gymnastics team should be the best in school history. The Wildcats return everyone from the squad that set a school record with 16 wins a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Central Regional under the direction of Regional Coach of the Year Hajile “Mo” Mitchell.

Continuing a trend that has lasted more than 20 years, the 2006 Excite Night was a rousing success. Themed “A Party So Big, It Will Last the Whole Season,” Kentucky kicked off the winningest season in school history in front of the largest crowd in school history with a resounding victory over Illinois State and Southeast Missouri State. The fans were treated to appearances by former Olympians Dominique Moceanu and Svetlana Boguinskaia.

For each of the past two years, Kentucky has drawn more than 4,000 fans to witness the most exciting night in the commonwealth. With the renovations to Memorial Coliseum, capacity is up to more than 7,000, which sets the table for a record-setting crowd for Excite Night. 

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