Olympic gymnastics is a heart-pounding spectacle that is both dynamic and graceful. There are three types of trampoline sports: artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline.
With our fast guide, you can learn all about the regulations of rhythmic and artistic gymnastics in time for Tokyo 2020.
What is artistic gymnastics, and what does it entail?
Artistic gymnastics was one of the first disciplines in the modern Olympic Games, debuting in 1894. Artistic gymnasts are required to develop their talents on a variety of apparatus, including the balance beam and performing on the floor. Below, we’ll go over the specifics of the men’s and women’s competitions.
Gymnastics for women who are artistic
There are four core events in women’s artistic gymnastics:
Beam. Gymnasts perform a sequence of spins, flips, and jumps on a foam-padded balancing beam that is roughly four feet off the ground, five metres long, and barely ten cm wide, putting their balance and precision to the test.
Vault. Competitors sprint to build up speed before launching themselves into the air with the help of a springboard. They must use both hands to hit the table and do various flying twists and saltos. The Produnova vault is the most difficult and is rarely attempted, even at the Olympics.
Bars that aren’t even. The uneven bars are the ultimate measure of upper body strength in the women’s event. On the low and high bars, competitors must complete a variety of swings and twists. They must also transition between the two by flying six feet in the air and landing with their feet neatly together.
Artistic gymnastics for men
The men’s artistic gymnastics programme has a larger number of events — eight in total – spread across six pieces of apparatus:
Rings. Gymnasts score points by lifting and holding their bodies in gravity-defying postures while holding two rings. Gymnasts hold their bodies horizontally with their arms outstretched parallel to their bodies in the Maltese Cross, which is considered one of the most difficult manoeuvres.
Vault. This is the same event as the women’s programme. Watch the action unfold at the London 2012 men’s vault final.
Horse with a pommel. Gymnasts must use their arms and upper body power to keep their weight on the horse while swinging their legs around in smooth, flowing motions, which is notoriously difficult to perfect. Watch the Olympic highlights of Louis Smith, a gold medalist and pommel horse virtuoso from the United Kingdom.
Bar that is horizontal. On one bar, approximately nine feet in the air, gymnasts must perform swings, spins, and a difficult dismount. In this highlights video from Rio 2016, you can see all of the flips, crashes, and triumphs.
Bars that are parallel. Gymnasts must perform a series of swings and flying routines on two parallel bars using their upper body strength. The most difficult manoeuvres are those in which the gymnast loses sight of the poles for a fraction of a second.
Exercise on the floor. The emphasis on acrobatics is stronger in the men’s floor exercise event than in the women’s.