Posted on February 10 2019
Gymnastics has its roots well within the ancient Greek culture. It was first included in the Olympics circa 1896, at that time the competitions were only held for men.
The Oxford dictionary defines gymnastics as "Exercises developing or displaying physical agility and coordination. The modern sport of gymnastics typically involves exercises on uneven bars, balance beam, floor, and vaulting horse for women, and horizontal and parallel bars, rings, floor, and pommel horse for men."
In simpler terms, gymnastics is a sport that requires strength, flexibility, speed, agility, quickness, balance, endurance, and stamina to perform different competitive acrobatic feats like jumps, spins, lifts, leaps, swings etc. The athletes who perform acrobatic feats of gymnastics such flips, jumps, leaps, spins, etc are called ‘gymnasts’.
This sport requires the perfect harmony of the mind, body and the spirit. Pushing the human body to its limits, the gymnastic routines requires the highest levels of alertness, precision, self-confidence and the will power to put it all on the line - the least we can say it that, it is not for the faint-hearted.
Types Of Gymnastics
There are 3 main types of gymnastics currently being featured in the Olympics for both men and women.
This is the most common type of gymnastics, men and women both compete here on gym equipment like pommel horse, uneven bars, parallel bars and still rings, vault, and horizontal bars.
Most competitive gymnastics events are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). Most national governing bodies are affiliated to FIG who then synchronizes world events. Disciplines not recognized by FIG include the Indian Mallakhamba, Aesthetic Gymnastics, Team Gym, Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics
In the artistic gymnastics, the USSR and Japan were known to be the most successful teams in the latter half of the 20th century. Off late, USA, Russia,China, and Japan have been the top teams of the world. Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine have been known to be the world leaders when it comes to rhythmic gymnastics. Trampoline gymnastics is still young compared to its kin, but Russia, China, and Canada have been seemingly dominating this vertical consistently.