Gymnastics has been one of the most popular sports of the Olympic games as it was one of the pioneering sports of the games in ancient Greece. The origin of the word gymnastics comes from the Greek word Gymnos which means naked. Competition events fall under one of three categories: Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline. Artistic Events are performed on apparatus. Men compete in floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bars. Female gymnasts compete on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor.
The competition includes individual all-around events and team events, also scored over each apparatus. Rhythmic gymnastics, also referred to as “modern gymnastics,” is strictly a women’s sport. The gymnasts, perform on a 13-meter-square floor area to the accompaniment of music. This performance includes the use of rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. The use of a trampoline can be dated back to the 1800s. Trampoline competitions recently debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games featuring both men’s and women’s individual events.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is the international governing body for gymnastics with 129 national affiliates and 50 million licensed gymnasts.