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History of Gymnastics
The word derives from the Greek (gymnastike), fem. of (gymnastikos), "fond of athletic exercises", from (gymnasia), "exercise" and that from (gymnos), "naked", because athletes exercised and competed without clothing. Gymnastics, which originated in ancient Greece as an Olympic game, is a competitive sport for men and women involving the performance of exercises, some of which require the use of various apparatus. The gymnastics events for men include rings, vaulting, floor exercise, horizontal bar, parallel bars, side horse, and combined exercises. The gymnastics events for women include vaulting, balance beam, uneven parallel bars, floor exercise, rhythmic gymnastics, and combined exercises. The Federation Internationale Gymnastique (FIG) was founded in 1881 to govern international competitions and today gymnastics are one of the most popular Olympic events.
Olympics in London:
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. 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. In the fifteenth century, Girolamo Mercuriale from Forlì (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. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Germany, two pioneer physical educators ² Johann Friedrich GutsMuths (1759²1839) and Friedrich
Ludwig Jahn (1778²1852) ² 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. The Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) was founded in Liege in 1881 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 ² primitive, for it involved only synchronized calisthenics ² 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
Com neci 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), Béla Károlyi. Comaneci scored four of her perfect tens on the uneven bars, two on the balance beam and one in the floor exercise. Even with Nadia's perfect scores, the Romanians lost the gold medal to theSoviet Union. Nevertheless, Comaneci became an Olympic icon.
Equipments used in Gymnastics
Balance Beam By Olympic standards, the balance beam is a long (16 feet 5 inches), thin (4 inch wide) bar that is approximately 4 feet off the ground. Women gymnasts must perform graceful, flexible movements on the balance beam while maintaining balance and rhythm. Vault/Springboard During the vault, the gymnast gains speed by sprinting down a runway and jumping on a springboard, a piece of equipment that helps gymnasts spring into the air and gain height. After bouncing off the springboard, the gymnast pushes off the vault and performs twists and turns in the air before making an ideally perfect landing. The "horse" vault made way in 2001 in international competition for the safer "table" vault. The two types of springboards are the soft springboard and the hard springboard. Pommel Horse The pommel horse is the perfect piece of equipment to demonstrate a male athlete's strength and balance. The horse is made of wood that is covered with foam and leather on the outside. The rubber-covered pommels, or rings, are mounted on the horse to allow for a firm grip. Only the gymnast's hands can touch the apparatus as he performs continuous, rhythmic motions and scissorlike movements over all parts of the pommel horse. Uneven Bars This women's event consists of two parallel bars, with one higher (about 8 feet by Olympic standards) than the other (about 5 feet 5 inches). The bars are made of fiberglass and covered with a birchwood laminate. During the event, the gymnast swings back and forth between the low and high bars while completing various release moves and handstand positions.
Parallel Bars The parallel bars consist of two horizontal bars about 11 feet 6 inches in length. During this men's event, gymnasts perform swinging movements between, above and below the bars. This apparatus also tests a gymnast's arm strength and endurance.
High Bar Also known as the horizontal bar, this men's apparatus consists of a hightension stainless steel bar about 7 feet 9 inches in length and 9 feet 2 inches above the ground. The bar is built to absorb the pressure of powerful release and grab moves. The event consists of continuous swing movements in both directions, release moves and a high, twisting dismount.
Rings Another men's apparatus is the rings. They are made of layers of wood attached to long (about 9 feet 9 inches) stainless steel cables built to absorb shock. The routine consists of swing and handstand positions that demonstrate a gymnast's strength.
Rope Climb Generally, competitors climbed either a 6m (6.1m = 20 ft in USA) or an 8m (7.6m = 25 ft in USA), 38mm (1.5") diameter natural fiber rope for speed, starting from a seated position on the floor and using only the hands and arms. Kicking the legs in a kind of "stride" was normally permitted. Many gymnasts can do this in the straddle or pike position, which eliminates the help generated from the legs
Although there is a whole lexicon of terminology associated with the world of gymnastics, below are a few of the more popular terms that can be heard around the gym.
All-around: a gymnast that has routines for and performs in the entire events specific to their gender: six for men and four for women. The all-around title is the most precious victory in gymnastics.
Block: a term for movement that comes from the powerful propulsion using the shoulders off of a piece of equipment.
Compulsory: the elements that are required for each piece of equipment (apparatus) in a gymnastics event; these are determined by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) or USA Gymnastics (USGA).
Grips: specialized equipment meant to be worn on the hands; constructed of leather, they are worn by both men and women, particularly when using any of the bar equipment.
Spotting: when a coach or instructor stands by a piece of equipment while a gymnast is performing a new or difficult move to prevent them from injury.
Term Arabesque Bridge Handstand Hollow Body Position Lounge Pike Pirouette
Instruction Similar to a scale, except with the chest up Holding the body in an arched-back position Standing on hands; entire body should be in a straight line, from hands to toes Rounded back, shoulders at ears, tight hips Front leg bent, back leg straight Legs together, straight in front, body bent forward A turn on a vertical axis, either on your feet or in a handstand. While standing in a stretched, relevé position, with one foot in front of the other, keeping both feet in place, turn your entire body pivoting on your toes Standing on one foot, the other leg is bent, toes on the knee Standing on high toe Balancing on one foot with the other leg high in the air; chest is down; can be done in a variety of positions Position in which the legs are at 180 degrees Both legs out to the side Extending the body as long as possible; straight legs, straight arms Legs bent, and bent at the hips; ideally bringing your chin to your chest and legs to your chest
Possé Relevé Scale Split Straddle Stretch Tuck
The "Queen of Gymnastics" Nadia Comaneci, the first US Olympic AllAround Gold Medalist Mary Lou Retton are the most famous.
Born: November Romania Started Gymnastics: 1967 (at age six) 12, 1961 in Onesti,
Retired: 1981 (at age 20) Coaches: Bela & Martha Karolyi Current Residence: Norman, OK
Family: Parents are Gheorghe, an auto mechanic, and Stephania Comaneci; husband is 1984 Olympic gymnast Bart Conner -- they have a son Dylan Paul Conner (born June 3, 2006)
Cool Skills She Performed: Nadia Comaneci has two moves named after her on the uneven bars. One is a toe-on, half-turn to a back flip dismount, while the other is a release move (a cast to straddle front flip) that is still rated at a high difficulty level today. (It is an ´Eµ on an A-G scale with ´Aµ the easiest.)
Gymnastics Accomplishments: * Nadia Comaneci was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10.0 in the Olympics. She did it at the 1976 Games, and then went on to score six more 10.0s and win three gold medals.
* Comaneci was also the first Romanian gymnast to win the all-around title at the Olympics, and is the youngest ever all-around champion. * In 1979 Comaneci became the first gymnast to win three all-around titles at the European Championships. * At the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Comaneci won her second Olympic gold medal on beam, and took home another gold on floor and a silver medal in the all-around.
Gymnastics Results: * 1981 University Games: 1st team; 1st all-around; 1st vault; 1st bars; 1st beam * 1980 Olympic Games: 2nd team; 2nd all-around; 1st beam; 1st floor * 1979 World Championships: 1st team * 1979 European Championships: 1st all-around; 1st vault; 3rd beam; 1st floor * 1978 World Championships: 2nd team; 2nd vault; 1st beam * 1977 European Championships: 1st all-around; 3rd vault; 1st bars * 1976 Olympic Games: 2nd team; 1st all-around; 1st bars; 1st beam; 3rd floor * 1976 American Cup: 1st all-around * 1976 Chunichi Cup: 1st all-around * 1975 European Championships: 1st all-around; 1st vault; 1st bars; 1st beam; 2nd floor
Awards: Comaneci was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1993, and has twice (1984, 2004) received the Olympic Order, the most prestigious award given by the International Olympic Committee. In 1999, ABC News and Ladies Home Journal named her as one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century.
Mary Lou Retton:
Dates: January 24, 1968 Known for: first American woman gymnast to win Olympic gold for the allaround event; most Olympic medals of any athlete at the 1984 Olympics; warm style, enthusiastic personality, pixie haircut; more muscular build than many women gymnasts Country Represented: United States Olympics: * 1984, gymnastics, United States (USSR and many allied teams boycotted the 1984 Olympics) * 1988 and later Olympics as a commentator Also known as: America's Sweetheart Height: 4'9" Records: * first US woman to win an Olympic gold medal in women's gymnastics allaround event (August 3, 1984) * most medals (five) of any athlete in the 1984 Olympics Honors, Awards: * 1984 - Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year * 1984 - Amateur Athlete of the Year, Associated Press * U.S. Olympic Committee in 1984 created the Mary Lou Retton Award athletic excellence * 1993 - Most Popular Athlete in America, Associated Press * 1995 - Flo Hyman Award, Women's Sports Foundation * 1997 - International Gymnastics Hall of Fame Education: * gymnastics classes, West Virginia University * coaching, Bela Karolyi * high school: correspondence courses * University of Texas at Austin, after retirement from gymnastics
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