Gymnastics

Gymnastics

images of Gymnastics

Olympic Sports

Gymnastics

  • Artistic
  • Rhythmic
  • Trampoline

Artistic Gymnastics is one of three disciplines in the sport of Gymnastics. The others are Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline. Athletes perform short routines on apparatus with judges evaluating the difficulty and accuracy of each performance.

Overview

Artistic Gymnastics has been part of the Olympic programme since the first modern Games of Athens 1896. Initially for men only, women's events were included from Amsterdam 1928.

Male gymnasts compete in six medal events: floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar. In the women's division, there are four medal events: vault, uneven bars, beam and floor. Men and women also compete for individual and team all-around titles.

Each piece of apparatus makes unique demands on the athlete, testing their strength, agility, coordination, speed and stamina. Women's floor routines are performed to musical accompaniment, adding an additional dimension to the competition. Judges mark each athlete on the complexity and aesthetics of their executed techniques while considering other aspects such as balance and stability.

International Federation: Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG)(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • Team competition (Men/Women)
  • Individual All-Around competition (Men/Women)
  • Floor Exercise (Men/Women)
  • Pommel Horse (Men)
  • Uneven Bars (Women)
  • Rings (Men)
  • Beam (Women)
  • Vault (Men/Women)
  • Parallel Bars (Men)
  • Horizontal Bar (Men)

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

The constant quest for perfection

Gymnasts

Until the Athens 2004 Games, the scoring system for Artistic Gymnastics used a ‘10-point maximum’. At Montreal 1976, Nadia Comaneci of Romania became the first competitor ever to earn a ‘perfect score’ of 10.

In 2005, the ‘perfect 10’ as a maximum score was abolished in favour of an open-ended system, designed to allow greater differentiation between athletes' performances. Two types of scores were introduced: a ‘D’ (difficulty) score evaluating the techniques performed and an ‘E’ (execution) score assessing artistry and performance. These scores are combined in a system where there is now no maximum.

Now the scoring system has removed the upper limit on skill difficulty, athletes must decide which of the most daring techniques to include in their routine – and how to combine moves with varying degrees of difficulty into a coherent, engaging and winning performance.

The Artistic Gymnastics competition begins with qualification rounds to determine who will move on to team all-around, individual all-around and individual finals. Points earned by each athlete for one performance in each event (two in the individual vault) decide whether they will proceed.

In the team all-around event, each team of four performs and medals are awarded according to the total score. In the individual all-around event, one athlete competes in each event (six for men, four for women), with their total score determining their standing. In individual events, athletes compete against each other to achieve the highest score. Scores from the qualifying rounds are not taken into account, with only those achieved in the final determining the medallists.

A new technique is named after the gymnast who first successfully performed it in an international competition sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). Many Japanese gymnasts have techniques named after them in this way, such as the Morisue move on parallel bars named after Shinji Morisue, who competed at the Los Angeles 1984 Games.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

High flyers aiming for gold

Gymnasts

Japan dominated men's Artistic Gymnastics from the Rome 1960 Games to Montreal 1976. The country won the team all-around event five times in a row while, in the individual all-around event, Japanese athletes took consecutive golds from the Tokyo 1964 Games to Munich 1972. The sport then came to be dominated by the Soviet Union and East Germany. Currently Japan, China and the USA have strong male gymnasts and the world's best women hail from the USA, Russia and China.

Since Sydney 2000, China has taken the men's team all-around gold three times and Japan twice, with their rivalry set to continue. At Rio 2016 the USA women's team included Simone Biles, the most decorated female athlete at the Games, whose four gold medals and scintillating performances made her an instant Olympic legend.

TRIVIA

Question

At the Munich 1972 Games, Mitsuo Tsukahara was the first athlete to perform a full-twisting double backwards somersault in dismounting from the horizontal bar. Why is this move often called the ‘moon somersault’?

Answer

A:Man had just set foot on the moon and Tsukahara's achievement was, within sport, considered equally groundbreaking. It seemed as if he was floating over the low-gravity surface of the moon.

Rhythmic Gymnastics is one of three disciplines in the sport of Gymnastics. The others are Artistic Gymnastics and Trampoline. Female athletes perform expressive and acrobatic moves with the aid of handheld apparatus – a hoop, ball, pair of clubs and ribbon.

Overview

Rhythmic gymnasts are scored on the artistry of their performances, which are set to music, and the skill with which they execute difficult manoeuvres with the handheld apparatus. The sport's uniqueness lies in this combination of musical interpretation with the risk of throwing the apparatus several metres into the air and losing sight of it while performing leaps, turns or acrobatic routines, then catching it. Rhythmic Gymnasts are athletes possessing immense strength, speed, skill and flexibility, but they are also artists capable of profound and expressive beauty.

It could be argued that Rhythmic Gymnastics has its origins in Ancient Egypt, where aesthetic expression of the human form was encouraged. However, its roots lie in 19th and early 20th century ideas of movement and aesthetics. The first World Championship was held in Hungary in 1963, the same year Rhythmic became a FIG discipline.

Rhythmic Gymnastics became part of the Olympic programme at the Los Angeles 1984 Games, with the group event added at Atlanta 1996. Since then, the discipline has grown in popularity throughout the world.

Performances are held on a 13 x 13-metre mat, with different formats for individual and group competitions.

Individual gymnasts perform four times, using each piece of apparatus once. Each performance must be 75 to 90 seconds long. In the group event, a team of five gymnasts performs twice using multiple apparatus at the same time. Each performance must last between 2 minutes 15 seconds and 2 minutes 30 seconds. Going over or under these times results in a 0.05-point deduction for each second.

The music played during performances also plays a significant role in establishing a mood and style. Music with vocals is allowed for one performance per group and for two performances per individual.

International Federation: Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG)(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • Individual All-Around competition (Women)
  • Group All-Around competition (Women)

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

Concentration, coordination and control

Gymnasts

Speedy and skilful manipulation of the apparatus is at the heart of Rhythmic Gymnastics.

Athletes must keep their wrists in constant motion to move the six-metre long satin ribbon in free-flowing arcs. Point deductions are imposed if the ribbon touches the floor or becomes tangled. The hoop, made of plastic or wood, can be thrown high into the air and caught, used for rolls over the body or on the floor, or rotations around the hand or other parts of the body. Any vibration of the hoop in the air is penalised.

For performances using the small rubber ball, elegance and lyricism rather than dynamic movements are required. As well as throws and catches, gymnasts roll the ball along their arms or back with grace and flow.

Gymnasts also use clubs 40 to 50cm in length and weighing 150 grams each. Precision and coordination are paramount during complex handling moves such as twirling one club while throwing the other. Drops carry penalty points.

In the individual all-around event at Rio 2016, Margarita Mamun of Russia took the gold after a close-fought competition with her teammate Yana Kudryavtseva, who took an early lead but dropped a club at the end of her performance. This mistake gave Mamun the chance to come back and win.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

Full of Eastern promise

Gymnasts

Drawing on the European traditions of dance and ballet, it is little surprise that countries from that continent are the powerhouses in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Russia, with its dominance in artistic sports, has long led the world. In both the individual all-around and group events, Russia has taken gold at five successive Games, from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016. Furthermore, Yevgeniya Kanayeva topped the podium at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. Other countries that regularly win medals include Belarus and Ukraine.

TRIVIA

Question

What distinguishes the shoes worn by rhythmic gymnasts from those worn in other sports?

Answer

A:The shoes have no heels.
They are half-shoes which cover only the front half of the foot. The heel area is left bare.

Trampoline is one of the three disciplines in the sport of Gymnastics. The others are Artistic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics. With athletes springing to heights of up to 10m, trampoline is among the Games' most enthralling spectacles.

Overview

Trampoline gymnasts perform a series of short routines containing a variety of twists, bounces and somersaults. Precise technique and perfect body control are vital for success, with judges delivering marks for difficulty, execution and flight time.

In 1934, an American gymnast named George Nissen was inspired by watching circus acrobats fall onto flexible safety nets and use the rebound to perform acrobatic skills. He constructed the first prototype trampoline from canvas and rubber used for inner tubes. Nissen named his device after ‘trampolin’, the Spanish word for springboard.

The trampoline itself consists of a rectangular ‘bed’ made from a woven synthetic fabric and measuring 4.28 metres x 2.14m. The bed is attached to a frame with steel springs so that its recoil action propels performers high into the air.

Initially used as a training tool for astronauts, pilots and other sports, the trampoline grew in popularity to such an extent that the first ever World Championships were held in London in 1964. The discipline was added to the Olympic programme at Sydney 2000 and features men's and women's individual competitions.

Olympic qualification is based on results achieved at the World Championships in the year preceding the Games and the Olympic test event. Sixteen men and 16 women take part.

International Federation: Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG)(Open in a new window)

Event Programme

  • Individual competition (Men/Women)

ESSENCE OF THE SPORT

A blend of athleticism and accuracy

Gymnasts

In Olympic Trampoline, athletes perform two routines, one compulsory and one voluntary, in a qualification round. Each routine consists of ten skills. In the compulsory routine, athletes perform eight skills that are judged only on execution and two skills, chosen by the gymnast, that are evaluated on both execution and difficulty.

In the voluntary routine all ten skills are judged on both execution and difficulty. A third component of the total score is ‘time of flight’, which is a measure of actual time spent in the air. This is added to the difficulty and execution scores for both routines.

The eight highest-scoring competitors advance to the final. Scores from the qualifying round do not carry over to the final, which consists of only a voluntary routine marked on difficulty, execution and time of flight. Although the athletes with the lowest scores in qualifying perform first, they still have every chance of achieving victory.

There are three basic airborne positions for jumps and somersaults: the tuck, the pike, and the layout or straight. Performers add rotations and twists to earn a higher difficulty score. Look out for dynamic leaps several metres above the bed combined with the skill and precision to land consistently in a central area of the trampoline called the jumping zone. A red cross on the bed serves as a visual guide and enables the athletes to make corrections to their body position.

OUTLOOK FOR THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES

Reaching the heights of success

Gymnasts

China and Canada have proved to be the leading nations in the five editions of the Games in which Trampoline has featured.

China's Dong Dong won the bronze medal in men's Trampoline at Beijing 2008 before going on to take gold at London 2012 and silver in the Rio 2016 competition – the last of these being won byUladzislau Hancharou from Belarus.

In the women's event, Canada's Rosie MacLennan won back-to-back gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

At Tokyo 2020, which athletes will best combine perfect form, daring moves and superior flight time to stand on top of the podium?

TRIVIA

Question

How is the height of jumps on the trampoline measured?

Answer

A:Jumps are measured using a sensor.
The device is installed underneath the trampoline to record the length of time between contacts with the trampoline bed. Therefore the athlete can be scored on how long he or she spends in the air.

Competition Venues

  • Ariake Gymnastics Centre

Olympic Sports

Paralympic Sports