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Gymnastics is one of the most underrated sports out there. Some people don’t consider the sport that physical because it requires wearing spandex but it requires incredible physical strength, agility, flexibility, coordination, and power to be able to complete many gymnastic moves. If you are a fan of gymnastics or would just like to know more about the sport, read on.

Olympics

Gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympics sports with eight different events taking place. They are the Floor exercise, the Rings, the Pommel Horse, the Parallel Bars, the Horizontal Bar, the Vault, the Uneven bars, and the Balance Beam. 

Ancient beginnings

Gymnastics have featured since the ancient Olympics in Greece. The word gymnastics actually comes from the Greek word Gymnos which means naked. Competitors in ancient Greece would complete many sports including gymnastics while totally naked. They were proud of the physical form and felt it should be displayed. 

Division of the sexes

Gymnastics was introduced at the modern Olympics in 1896 but women did not compete until 1928. Today men and women don’t compete in all the same events. Only women can compete in the balance beam and uneven bars. Only men can compete in the rings, parallel bars, pommel horse and horizontal bars.

Uniform

Gymnasts wear a leotard to compete. It is form-fitting, allows ease of movement and is pretty comfortable. The name leotard comes from a gymnast, Jules Leotard, who was known for wearing one and made it popular (but wasn’t the inventor).

Russia dominates

Russia continues to lead the way in gymnastics with the highest number of female Olympic gold medalists, 37. Romania are in second place with 22 and the US in third with 10. They also lead the way for male gymnasts with 43 gold medals with Japan second on 28 and the US in third with 23.