Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics, catered to a Pittsburgh audience by wearing a Penguins No. 14 jersey -- not for Chris Kunitz, who wears that number, but to help root the Penguins to a 14th win in a row tonight.
And he called the 2014 U.S. gymnastics championships, which will be held at Consol Energy Center, "the annual Super Bowl of our sport."
But Penny, in formally announcing the national event at a news conference Wednesday at the arena, is convinced that America's version of his sport, particularly women's gymnastics, is every bit as dominant as the Penguins and Steelers have been.
"I'm beginning to talk about our women's program as having established a dynasty in our sport," Penny said.
"Our women's team is the best country in the world, by a large margin. We've won almost twice as many medals as the next-best countries at the Olympics and world championships over the last 12 years -- those [next-best] two countries being Russia and China."
USA Gymnastics is the country's governing body for the sport. The event will help determine national champions and world championships participants. The 2014 world championships are in China.
The nationals will be Aug. 21-24, 2014. The women and men will alternate days -- a women's opening day of competition, a men's day of competition, the women's finals and the men's finals.
The 2014 nationals come midway between the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and Penny figures the country and the sport are still riding high from the U.S. women's performance in the 2012 London Games. The team dubbed the "Fierce Five" stole the show -- led by Gabby Douglas, who won the gold medal in the all-around.
"London was extremely special for USA Gymnastics," Penny said. "It was the first time in our history that we won the team gold medal as well as the all-round gold medal, and the Fierce Five became Americans' sweethearts overnight.
"It left a real lasting image for us ... a real watershed moment for the organization."
In addition to the competition, the USA Gymnastics national congress and a trade show will be held concurrently at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
The Penguins and VisitPittsburgh also are responsible for bringing in the 2014 gymnastics national championships, which are part of a long line of national events to come to Consol Energy Center, which opened in 2010.
"When we conceived the idea of a new arena ... we said it wasn't only going to be a hockey arena for Pittsburgh and the Penguins, that we were going to attract world-class events," Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse said. "This is another example of a world-class event."
Tickets will go on sale this summer. Prices were not unveiled. Those interested can sign up to get event and ticket information at www.consolenergycenter.com.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter: @pgshelly.