Gymnastics, History

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Summary

Gymnastics is a complex competition involving the performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, power, agility, coordination, grace, balance and control. Internationally, all of the competitive gymnastic events are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). Each country has its own national governing body (BIW) affiliated to FIG. Competitive artistic gymnastics is the best known of the gymnastic events. It typically involves the women's events of uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. Men's events are floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, [[parallel b

Details

In 1569, Girolamo Mercuriale from Forlì (Italy) wrote Le Arte Gymnastica, which brought together his study of the attitudes of the ancients toward diet, exercise and hygiene, and the use of natural methods for the cure of disease. Girolamo was an Italian philogist and physician, who received his doctorate in 1555. He was later asked to occupy the Chair of Medicine in 1569. De Arte Gymnastica also explained the principles of physical therapy and is considered the first book on sports medicine.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Germany, three pioneer physical educators – Johann Friedrich GutsMuths (1759–1839) and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778–1852) – created exercises for boys and young men on apparatus they had designed that ultimately led to what is considered modern gymnastics. Don Francisco Amorós y Ondeano, marquis de Sotelo, was born on February 19, 1770 in Valence and died on August 8, 1848 in Paris. He was a Spanish colonel, and the first person to introduce educative gymnastic in France. Jahn promoted the use of parallel bars, rings and high bar in international competition.

The Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) was founded in Liege in 1881. By the end of the nineteenth century, men's gymnastics competition was popular enough to be included in the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896. From then on until the early 1950s, both national and international competitions involved a changing variety of exercises gathered under the rubric, gymnastics, that would seem strange to today's audiences and that included for example, synchronized team floor calisthenics, rope climbing, high jumping, running, and horizontal ladder. During the 1920s, women organized and participated in gymnastics events. The first women's Olympic competition was primitive, only involving synchronized calisthenics and track and field. These games were held in 1928, in Amsterdam.

By 1954, Olympic Games apparatus and events for both men and women had been standardized in modern format, and uniform grading structures (including a point system from 1 to 15) had been agreed upon. At this time, Soviet gymnasts astounded the world with highly disciplined and difficult performances, setting a precedent that continues. The new medium of television has helped publicize and initiate a modern age of gymnastics. Both men's and women's gymnastics now attract considerable international interest, and excellent gymnasts can be found on every continent. Nadia Comăneci received the first perfect score, at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. She was coached in Romania by coach, (Hungarian ethnicity), Béla Károlyi. Comaneci scored four of her perfect tens on the uneven bars, two on the balance beam and one in the floor exercise. Even with Nadia's perfect scores, the Romanians lost the gold medal to the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Comaneci became an Olympic icon.

In 2006, a new points system for Artistic gymnastics was put into play. With an A Score (or D score) being the difficulty score, which as of 2009 is based on the top 8 high scoring elements in a routine (excluding Vault). The B Score (or E Score), is the score for execution, and is given for how well the skills are performed.[1]Copyright: Attribute—Share Alike

External Links

  • WikipediaInternational Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) official websiteInternational Federation of Aesthetic Group Gymnastics official websiteUSA GymnasticsBritish GymnasticsBrazilian Gymnastics

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