In rhythmic gymnastics, the athletes perform holding equipment instead of on equipment. Gymnasts perform jumps, tosses, leaps and other moves with different types of apparatus, and are judged more on their dancing ability, grace, and coordination ore than on their strength.
Olympic rhythmic gymnastics has only ever included female athletes. Girls start at a young age and become age-eligible to compete in the Olympic Games and other major international competitions on January 1st of their 16th year. (For example, a gymnast born Dec. 31, 1996, was age-eligible for the 2012 Olympics).
In some countries, males are beginning to participate in rhythmic gymnastics. This hybrid form of gymnastics also requires the athletes to perform tumbling and martial arts skills.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) officially recognized rhythmic gymnastics in 1962 and held the first World Championships for rhythmics in 1963 in Budapest, Hungary.
Rhythmic gymnastics was added as an Olympic sport in 1984, and in 1996, group competition was added.
In Acrobatic Gymnastics the athletes themselves are the equipment.
Partnerships of gymnasts must work together and perform figures consisting of acrobatic moves, dance and tumbling, set to music. There are three types of routines; a ‘balance’ routine where the focus is on strength, poise and flexibility; a ‘dynamic’ routine which includes throws, somersaults and catches, and a ‘combined’ routine which includes elements from both balance and dynamic.
Music is usually selected specifically for a duo that has been choreographed specifically for them. The gymnasts carry out their acrobatic moves and combine them with dance, all in time to the style of the music. Partnerships are judged on artistry, difficulty of skill and the execution of skills.
The first use of acrobatics as a specific sport was in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and the first world championships were in 1974.
In addition to the current five categories, two additional categories for tumbling (men’s and women’s) were included until the 1999 World Championships, though some groups still involve tumbling events.
Women’s Artistic gymnastics
The most well known form of gymnastics, this discipline includes vaulting, uneven bars, balance beams and more.
Top female gymnasts must have a vast variety of attributes: strength, balance, flexibility, air sense, and grace are some of the most important.
They also must have the courage to attempt perform difficult techniques and to compete under intense pressure, where a mistake might mean a broken limb.
Serious practitioners of this sport must be put through a rigorous physical and mental examination, as although it’s stunningly beautiful to watch, if an athletes mind is elsewhere it could prove deadly.
The gymnastic system was mentioned in works by ancient authors, such as Homer, Aristotle, and Plato. It included many disciplines that would later become separate sports, such as swimming, racing, wrestling, boxing, and riding, and was also used for military training. In its current form, gymnastics evolved in Bohemia and what is now Germany at the beginning of the 19th century, and the term “artistic gymnastics” was introduced at the same time to distinguish free styles from the ones used by the military.