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Artistic gymnastics

Founded in 1881, the International Gymnastics Federation is the oldest international sports federation in the world. Quite rightly so, as gymnastics is a very old sport, with its roots dating back to ancient times. Back then, it was recommended by philosophers as a way of combining physical exercise with intellectual activity. The sport grew in popularity over the 19th century, with an increasing number of competitions, culminating when the Olympic Games were revived in Athens in 1896.  

Brief overview of the rules

Artistic gymnastics is composed of a number of individual competitions on different apparatus, as well as a team competition involving all apparatus. Each piece of apparatus requires different skills. Men compete across the floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar, while women’s events include the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Across the range of elements, each more spectacular than the last, the dynamic sequences and composition require strength, agility, coordination and precision.

Until 2004,the routines were evaluated with a maximum of 10 points, but from 2005 the mode of scoring changed to a combination of a D-score (difficulty / content of the exercise) and an E-score (execution) in order for allowing greater differentiation between athletes’ performance. The sport started to consider changes to the scoring system following the 1976 Games, when Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first competitor ever to earn a ‘perfect score’ of 10.

Olympic history

Gymnastics was introduced at the very first Olympic Games of the modern era in 1896, and has been included in every edition since, where only men were allowed to participate. Women were incorported into the Olympic programme at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. The programme evolved a lot from the first half of the 20th century, before they were stabilised in 1960 for women and 1936 for men. The sport of gymnastics continue to evolve as athletes push the boundaries of artistry of movement.

In the 1960s and 70s, Japan dominated the Olympic podium, before being surpassed by the Soviet Union and East Germany. Nowadays, centre stage in artistic gymnastics is primarily occupied by Japan, USA, Russia and China.

Events in 2024

The artistic gymnastics events will take place between the 27th of July and the 5th of August.

Women’s event

  • Team
  • Individual All-Around
  • Floor exercise
  • Vault
  • Balance Beam
  • Uneven Bars

Men’s event

  • Team
  • Individual All-Around
  • Floor exercise
  • Vault
  • Pommel Horse
  • Still Rings
  • High Bar
  • Parallel Bars
  • Team (women’s / men’s)
  • Individual All-Around (women’s / men’s)
  • Floor Exercise (women’s / men’s)
  • Vault (women’s / men’s)
  • Pommel Horse (men’s)
  • Still Rings (men’s)
  • Balance Beam (women’s)
  • High Bar (men’s)
  • Uneven Bars (women’s)
  • Parallel Bars (men’s)

Venue in 2024

International organisation

International Gymnastics Federation

© Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

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