Gymnastic exercises require a high level of control, flexibility, balance, and strength to be performed. The global regulation and standardization of the sport is done by an international regulatory body called FIG. Other smaller regulatory bodies in individual countries are often affiliated to FIG. The need for the existence of FIG is to regulate events in international competitions which are held yearly in different countries in the world. Olympic Games involve a lot of competitions and gymnastics is among the best sports included.
Gymnastic as a term has its source in the Greek language. Corresponding English translation means naked. It could also mean dancing naked in some sense. A word with such a meaning was adopted because gymnasts from ancient times practiced while naked. In 1570s is when the terms first appeared. It has continued to be adopted globally from the time it was coined.
Gymnastic originated from Ancient Greece. It was originally meant for training in the military. Soldiers got involved in these exercises as part of getting ready for war. The incorporation of gymnastic into military training was thought to equip soldiers with strength and skills necessary for fighting. Inclusion into military training was later stopped, but some aspects of it may still be found in certain militaries.
Modern gymnastic was born in Germany by three pioneer educators. These pioneers were responsible for the creation of exercises for young men and boys on apparatus they designed. It is these exercises that resulted in the birth of the modern variety of gymnastic. In France, educative gymnastic was introduced by someone named Don Franscisco Ondeano. On the other hand, the use of rings, high bars, and parallel bars in international competitions was promoted by Jahn, one of the three German pioneers of modern gymnastic.
Liege is where FIG got established in 1881. Men events were first introduced in Olympics in 1896 following its popularity. Significant changes were made in the events gymnasts competed in from 1896 through to the 1950s. The changes happened at international as well as national levels.
Most modern audiences would find events that were considered normal back then to be very strange. Participants participated in many events including running, high jumping, rope climbing, floor calisthenics, and horizontal ladder. Participation of women in gymnastic events began in the 1920s. The initial events were filled with primitivity. The events only encompassed track and field activities and synchronized calisthenics. This Olympic Games took place in Amsterdam in 1928.
By 1954, there was a lot of standardization in male and female Olympic apparatus and events. There was global consensus on grading structures and formats to be used. During that time, the Soviet astonished the world with its outstanding performances and set a precedent that exists even today. Publicizing and initiation of the modern age in this sport was done through television a lot.
Today, the perfection and quality of both female and male events is very high. Many people in the world find the sport interesting and all continents have some of the best gymnasts the world has ever seen. Since competitive gymnastic began, the system for scoring has never changed until in 2006 when a new one came into use.
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