Gymnastics is one of the oldest sports that is still practiced today with origins that date back to ancient civilisation. In fact, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), which was founded in 1881, is the oldest international sports federation in the world. Rhythmic gymnastics, however, is a far newer discipline of the sport, as it evolved from the mass gymnastics popular in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. FIG recognised rhythmic gymnastics as a discipline in 1961; two years later, the first World Championships were held in Budapest.
Brief overview of the rules
Rhythmic gymnastics is expression through movement. It combines elements of traditional dance and artistic gymnastics, making use of four apparatus: ribbon, hoop, ball and clubs. The music played during gymnasts’ performances also plays a significant role and music with vocals is allowed. Rhythmic gymnastics is a women‑only discipline.
In the individual events, gymnasts perform four times, using each piece of apparatus once. Each performance must be 75 to 90 seconds long. The group event sees groupes of five gymnasts performing twice. In this event, the first performance includes one set of apparatus, and the second performance includes two different apparatus. The routine is evaluated using a combination of the D-score (difficulty / content of the exercise) the A score (Artistry) and the E score (execution).
Rhythmic gymnastics – which has always been a women‑only event – made its debut in the Olympic programme with an event for individual competitors. A group event was introduced 12 years later in Atlanta 1996.
Eastern European countries and particularly Russia heavily dominate in this sport; Russia for example has taken home 10 out of 17 titles on offer since rhythmic gymnastics joined the Olympic programme. Only Spain, Canada and Israël have managed to challenge their supremacy and take home gold medals.
Events in 2024
The rhythmic gymnastics events will take place between the 8th and the 10th of August.
- Individual all-around (women)
- Group event (women)
Venue in 2024
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