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History of the Sport of Gymnastics

Gymanstics, as an activity sport, has been around for over 2000 years but as an competitive sport it is a little more than 100 years old. Mass and individual exhibitions were conducted by various clubs and ethnic groups such as the Turvereins and Sok ols.

While it was slow-growing in the club area, it was fast-growing sport in the Turvereins and Sokols. In 1830s, the sport of gymnastics was introduced to United States and its school systems by such immigrants as Charles Beck, Charles Follen and Franci s Lieber.

In 1881 the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) was formed, later was renamed to Bureau of the European Gymnastics Federation. This organization pioneered the international competition. The Amature Athletic Union (AAU) was formed in United Sta tes in 1883. Along with other amature spotts in United States, this organization took over the control of the gymnastics in U.S. Various "championships" started to develop by various clubs and organizations at about the same time during 1880s.

The first large-scale competition was the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece. There Germany have been the dominant team by almost sweeping every medal. Five countries have participapted in this event. Men's competitions included horizontal bar, parall el bars, pommel horse, rings, and vault.

The first international event following 1896 Olympics was hel in 1903 in Antwerp, Belgium. There competed gymnasts from such places as Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. This event is now considered the first World Championship. The f irst men's team competition was added and held in 1904 Olympics at St. Louis.

By ninth World Championship in 1930 at Luxembourg, the gymnastic competition included track and field events such as pole vault, broad jump, shot put, rope climb, and 100-meter dash. Following that, track and field events started to disappear from

gy mnastics events, such as World Championships. They fully disappeared from the sport of gymnastics by 1954 World Championships.

During 1924 Olympics in France marked the begining of what they are today. In gymnastics, men started to compete for individual Olympic titles in each gymnastic event. The first women's gymnastic team debuted during the 1928 Olympics. The first wom en's event during 1928 Olympics was the team combined exercise, where it was dominated by Netherlands. The first U.S. women's gymnastic team competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

In 1962, rhythmic gymnastics were recognized as a sport by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). In 1963 in Budapest, Hungary, the first Rhythmic World Championship took place. It included 28 athlets from 10 countries. In 1973, the United States joined the sport of rhythmic gymnastics during the Rhythmic World Championships. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the rhythmic individual allaround competition was held for the first time. At the Centenial Olympics this year in Atlanta, the rhythmic group event will be a medal-sport for the first time.

In 1970, the United States Gymnastics Federartion, now formally known as USA Gymnastics, was organized and became the govering body on this sport in the U.S. It is still exist today.

History 1908 Summer Olympics in London: Display of the British women's gymnastics team Exercises of the ancient Greeks at first consisted of athletic feats performed by each individual according to his own notion, and were encouraged among the youth as combining amusement with exercise. These exercises were at length reduced to a system which formed a prominent feature in the state regulations for education. In fact, the period for gymnastics was equal to the time spent on art and music combined.[4] All Greek cities had a gymnasium, a courtyard for jumping, running, and wrestling. As the Roman Empire ascended, Greek gymnastics gave way to military training. The Romans, for example, introduced the wooden horse. In 393 AD the Emperor Theodosius abolished the Olympic Games, which by then had become corrupt and gymnastics, along with other sports, declined. For centuries, gymnastics was all but forgotten.[5]

In the fifteenth century, Girolamo Mercuriale from Forl (Italy) wrote De Arte Gymnastica, that brought together his study of the attitudes of the ancients toward diet, exercise and hygiene, and the use of natural methods for the cure of disease. De Arte Gymnastica also explained the principles of physical therapy and is considered the first book on sports medicine. South African Sport In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Germany, two pioneer physical educators Johann Friedrich GutsMuths (17591839) and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (17781852) created exercises for boys and young men on apparatus they had designed and that ultimately led to what is considered modern gymnastics. In particular, Jahn crafted early models of the horizontal bar, the parallel bars (from a horizontal ladder with the rungs removed), and the vaulting horse.[5] The Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) was founded in Liege in 1881.[6] By the end of the nineteenth century, men's gymnastics competition was popular enough to be included in the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896. From then on until the early 1950s, both national and international competitions involved a changing variety of exercises gathered under the rubric gymnastics that would seem strange to today's audiences: synchronized team floor calisthenics, rope climbing, high jumping, running, horizontal ladder, etc. During the 1920s, women organized and participated in gymnastics events, and the first women's Olympic competition primitive, for it involved only synchronized calisthenics was held at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. By 1954, Olympic Games apparatus and events for both men and women had been standardized in modern format, and uniform grading structures (including a point system from 1 to 15) had been agreed upon. At this time, Soviet gymnasts astounded the world with highly disciplined and difficult performances, setting a precedent that continues. The new medium of television helped publicize and initiate a modern age of gymnastics. Both men's and women's gymnastics now attract considerable international interest, and excellent gymnasts can be found on every continent. Nadia Comneci received the first perfect score, at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. She was coached in Romania by the Romanian coach, (Hungarian ethnicity), Bla Krolyi. Comaneci scored four of her perfect tens on the uneven bars, two on the balance beam and one in the floor exercise.[7] Even with Nadia's perfect scores, the Romanians lost the gold medal to the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Comaneci became an Olympic icon. In 2006, a new points system for Artistic gymnastics was put into play. With an A Score (or D score) being the difficulty score, which as of 2009 is based on the top 8 high scoring elements in a routine (excluding Vault). The B Score (or E Score), is the score for execution, and is given for how well the skills are performed.