Women’s Championships – 3/24/18 – Champaign, IL
After several months of design and consultation Performance Stage came through for the Big10 Conference to provide a podium solution for the 2018 Women’s Gymnastics Championships at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. Four different stage decks had to be assembled, carpeted, and skirted for this project. In the end nearly 500 man-hours of work went into assembling, bracing, and anchoring these stage decks to provide a solid surface for competition. A custom anchoring system was designed and installed underneath the stage decks so that the uneven bars were able to be placed on top of the podium and anchored directly to the podium without the use of large, unsightly weights on top of the deck. It was a lot of work but in the end paid off with a beautifully executed event. Hats off to the crew at State Farm Center and the Union labor in Champaign, they made this much easier than it otherwise would have been!
Men’s Championships – 4/6-7/2018- – Ann Arbor, MI
Now that we have the Women’s podium down-pat, the Men’s Podium has its own set of challenges. Crisler Center (the hosting location for the Men’s Championships) is not only much smaller than State Farm Center (women’s championship host), but its basketball floor is a permanent part of the facility and cannot be removed for events like this. Extra care was taken to install a protective layer over the floor prior to the event so as to eliminate any possibility of damaging the precious hardwood. Once the crew at Crisler had this layer installed it was our turn to bring in our two truck-loads of gear and setup. Given the constraints of the loading area and the relatively narrow tunnel available for us to move gear from the loading area to the floor, we managed to best our setup time from the week prior in Champaign. Total time start to finish was just under 8 hours (including setting up the apparatus on the stage). The Men’s setup included two special under-deck weight systems to anchor both the High-Bar and Ring-Frame. Despite the athlete’s best efforts to break our anchoring system (including two at a time on the high bar) it held together resiliently and provided a solid surface for two different event days.
Hats off also to the crew at Crisler for making this job so much easier than we were expecting. The crew’s preparation prior to our arrival set our team up for a very smooth and painless load-in!