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Facts About Gymnastics

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Mention the word gymnastics to anyone and one of the first words someone will say will be “Olympics”. This is indeed an Olympic sport and many children do train to try out for the U.S. Olympic team when competitions are announced. It is also one of the most widely watched sports during those same Olympics. The beauty, grace and fluidity of these gymnasts can sometimes boggle the mind. If you want to learn more about gymnastics, then take a look at the interesting facts below.

A gymnast doing a stag leap on floor exerciseA gymnast doing a stag leap on floor exercise. © Skubik.

Founding of gymnastics

Gymnastics was a part of the Olympics, true but early Romans created it as a functional sport. A German by the name of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn has been credited with the start of gymnastics outside the US. Inside the US, the men credited with bringing them here are Francis Lieber, Charles Follen and Charles Beck.

Events of gymnastics

Many different events happen during gymnastics. Parallel bars, pommel horse, rings, horizontal bar and vault all happen. Floor programs also are a part of a gymnastics meet. This can happen all at the same time and can be fun to watch. Each one has a specific set of criteria that must be met in order to get a high ranking. After Comaneci won a perfect 10 in the Olympics, the rules were changed to discourage this practice.

Nadia Elena ComaneciNadia Elena Comaneci, 5 times Olympic gold medalist & the first gymnast to score a perfect 10, she is the world’s most famous gymnast. © Dave Gilbert.

Age of Olympic gymnasts

When you are talking about gymnasts, the age to start in gymnastics is very young. It can start as early as age two. However, to enter into Olympic competition, any gymnast must be 16 years of age as defined by the governing body of the Olympic Games. In recent years, there have been headlines about gymnasts lying about their age so that they can compete. This is the exception rather than the norm.

Successful ages for gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that demands flexibility. While training can start as young as age two, most female athletes are successful during the years of fourteen to eighteen while male gymnasts are usually successful in their late teens to early twenties. So, there is a variety of difference in the age to be successful