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 A successful gymnast must be strong, flexible, brave and graceful. However, most people can do some form of gymnastics. We learn as a child to do cartwheel or handstand in school, the basis of all gymnastic moves. Gymnastic dates back to ancient Greece and are a form of acrobatic exercise. Now a days it has evolved into a popular spectators spot. Rhythmic and artistic are the two main types of gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is performed on objects such as a wooden horse or a vault. During gymnastics players compete in eight different events. There are floor exercises and vaults. Men compete on bars, horse and rings. Women have to perform on beams and asymmetric bars. Judges award points out of ten and many of the champions of yesteryears have been teenagers.

History of Gymnastics

Gymnastics has been around for over 2000 years but as a competitive sport it is more than 100 years old. In 1830s, the sport of gymnastics was introduced to United States and its school systems by immigrants as Charles Beck, Charles Follen and Francis Lieber.

In 1881 the international Gymnastics Federation (FIG) was formed, later was renamed to Bureau of the European Gymnastics Federation. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) was formed in United States in 1883. The first largest scale competition was the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece. With five countries participating the competitions were horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse, rings and vault. The first international event was in 1903 in Antwerp, Belgium which was considered the first World Championship. The first men’s team competition was added and held in 1904 Olympics at St. Louis.

During 1924 Olympics in France, men started to compete for individual Olympic titles in each gymnastic event. The first women’s gymnastic team debuted during the 1928 Olympics. The first women’s event was in 1928 Olympics. In 1962, rhythmic gymnastics were recognised. In 1963 in Hungary, the first Rhythmic World Championship took place. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the rhythmic individual all-around competition was held for the first time.

Rhythmic gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics is fairly new to the sport and is competed only by girls. Competitiors can use hoops, ribbons or balls for their routines, the focus being beauty and grace of the display. Ballet is combined with traditional gymnastic moves. The judges mark on artistic as well as sporting maneuvers.

Scoring Points

Scoring Points involves performing moves according to the set of rules and keeping the body in position simultaneously. For example, during vault the gymnast has to keep his toe pointed, and legs split during the entire movement.


The most explosive and shortest discipline is vaults. The gymnast has to sprint down a runway, push off a springboard to gain power and twist off a vaulting horse. Gymnast has to keep the proper shape during the entire routine without losing balance.

High BarHigh Bar events are exclusively for men. The gymnast swings around a bar, performing moves while holding on with either one or both hands. The most difficult move involves flinging one in the air and then catching the bar again. Women compete on asymmetric bars consisting of a higher and a lower bar.


Good balance is required for floor exercises or for working on the beam, which is narrow.

Beautiful Thought

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph” by Thomas Paine

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