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Denver Lynch

Mrs R. Petre

English IV Honors

9 March 2017


Gymnastics have been around for many and will continue to be around for many more

(History of Gymnastics).. Gymnastics though has been around for many generations and has

expanded ever since, it shows many forms of art and benefits to the human body with mix of

competitive skills and socials skills.

Gymnastics is a sport that brings together the mind, soul, and body that brings forth

beauty (Bentlon). Its one of the oldest sports in American history. It came about in Athens,

greece where men started out as the career of the sport than women came later. The history of

this sport has been around for many generations and many to come. The modern word

gymnasium made its first appearance in the Hellenistic Greek period as open-air arenas where

gymnasts could practice. Gymnastics was equal to the time spent on art and music combined. All

Greek cities had a gymnasium, a courtyard for jumping, running, and wrestling (History Of

Gymnastics|Timeline). Also activities such as rings, pommel horse, and the floor exercises were

all first exhibited at the Greek Olympics. Gymnastics was coveted so much in ancient Greek

culture that it was made mandatory for all Greek students. The fourth Macedonian War of BC

150 brought the whole of the Grecian states under Roman control. This event brought much of

Greek culture into the scope of Roman society, and gymnastics was one of the cultural aspects

absorbed by Rome. The ever-expanding Roman Empire used gymnastics to keep its troops in

peak fighting condition. Through its conquests, Rome was able to spread the seeds of gymnastics
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throughout the ancient world from Africa to England. In AD 393, Emperor Theodosius outlawed

the Greek Olympic Games (History of Gymnastics | .This decree was a major hit

to the sport. The sport was expanded throughout the Hellenistic period where it transcended

military exercise and was incorporated into everyday civilian life, thanks to its inclusion in the

Greek Olympics. Exercises of the Ancient Greeks began with athletic feats performed by each

individual according to his own notion. The youth were encouraged to combine amusement with

exercise (History of Gymnastics | In time, this kind of exercise was incorporated

into a system that figured prominently in the state regulations for education. In fact, the period

for exercise or sports such as gymnastics nearly died out completely. Later on when the US

military brought gymnastics training to America in the late 1800s, the sport quickly caught on as

a popular mental and physical exercise among the civilian middle and upper classes. This

popularity among the citizenry led to the formation of the first organized gymnasiums and

gymnastics teams in the early 1900s.

The rings of blue, black, yellow, red and green, which make up one of the most

recognized symbols in the world, traditionally represent the five different areas of the world

involved in the Olympics as in North and South America are considered one area, along with

Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe (What Do the Olympic Rings Represent?" ). The competition

was held in 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Germany has been the team that is getting every

medal. Five countries have been included in these events. Men's gymnastics started in 1896

however women's gymnastics started of the year of 1928. Men's competitions included

horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse, rings, and vault. The first international event

following 1896 Olympics was held in 1903 in Antwerp, Belgium. There competed gymnasts

from such places as Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. This event is now
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considered the first World Championship (What Do the Olympic Rings Represent?" ). By 1954,

the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had laid down a series of rules and a scoring system

to be followed in all organized gymnastics competitions. The International Olympic Committees

first and foremost responsibility is to ensure that the Olympics are continued every four years.

This task involves coordinating with sponsor nations to ensure the safety, and availability of

venues for events. It also includes coordinating with companies who will sponsor the Olympic

Games for advertising space as they provide a source of funding to pay for the events to take

place. The committee decides which venues will be used and how to best utilize the resources

available to ensure that all events at the Olympic Games are conducted properly. They decide

which events are to be held, their timing, and if new events will be introduced to the Olympics.

The Committee also owns all of the trademarks, symbols, and rights to broadcast the events.

They serve as the financial custodian of the Olympic Games and often vote on key decisions

through majority consensus (Code of Ethics ).

The Olympic gymnastics engaged in today can be divided into three main categories:

artistic, trampoline and rhythmic. The main type is the women's artistic gymnastics which is the

first to sell out at the olympic games that consists of vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor

exercise. ( "Did You Know There Are 6 Different Types of Gymnastics?). Men's gymnastics is

the second most popular type of gymnastics in the United States and the oldest form of

gymnastics. Men compete on six apparatus: floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault,

parallel bars and horizontal bar (usually called high bar). Olympic competition is held in the

same format as womens artistic gymnastics, with team, all-around and individual events

competition. The only difference is that the men compete across their six events, whereas the
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women compete across their four events. Now rythmic gymnastics Gymnasts perform jumps,

tosses, leaps and other moves with different types of apparatus. This is currently a female-only

sport in the Olympics. ("Did You Know There Are 6 Different Types of Gymnastics?)

Over the time leotards and the costumes of gymnasts wear has evolved since the

beginning of gymnastics history (Olympics Leotards). The costumes is a big factor so training

and performance is flawless in front of the judges and is more comfortable while doing all the

exercises. In 1896, the first olympics game in Athens, Greece, started off with mustached men

who wore basically rags or sleepwear. Women were not actually competing in the olympics at the

time but the clothing attire would probably be just as similar. Eventually women could compete

in 1908 and their clothing attire came to be more like white dresses. The unnatural "S" figures

that were pushed and pulled with bustles and corsets were replaced with a straight, natural figure

back in the early 1910s days. The waist was loosened, and a straight line was adopted.

Additionally, the frills and flounces of the previous decade were gone. The hobble skirt, seen

below, caught on quickly. This style remained the height of fashion until around 1915 (Stratford).

Since women back in those times, Life for women during the period 1910-1920 was generally

not good. This is because they were considered second class citizens with most of their basic

rights restricted. In most countries women were not allowed to vote so their right of choice was

infringed on since they had no say in the choice of leaders or laws that governed the societies

they lived in (Stratford). Women of different social and economic classes had different

opportunities. They were basically forced to not show any skin or people would judge them to

death. Later on in 1948, women began to wear actual leotards once gymnastics was becoming

more popular. The leotards were still not fitting but definitely showing more skin back in the
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1900s (Olympic Leotards). Finally in 1960, leos got more colorful and playful. Styles altered

dramatically, with different leos used for different programs. Today leotards range from fairly

modest, long sleeves, high neckline, full bottom, to incredibly revealing, showing a lot of skin

(Olympic Leotards). Most of the gymnastics base their outfits on their performance and higher

scores. (Illustration 1 & 2)

There have been many debates if gymnastics is really a benefit to the world and the

human body. Meanwhile, more and more people are contributing in the sport and has grown ever

since. Gymnastics has several great benefits to an individual's health and overall body mechanics

such as self confidence, hard work ethic,discipline, politeness, courage, determination,and

cognitive skills (The Benefits of Doing Gymnastics......). Increased flexibility is a big deal

when it comes to taking gymnastics serious. It can be effective in the reduction of injury,

preventing people from forcing a limb to an injurious range of motion. A flexible individual can

attain greater control of their body and balance (Springfit).

Increased self-esteem has been included in study by researchers at the Robert Wood

Johnson Medical School have indicated that children who participate in physical activity like

gymnastics are likely to have better self-esteem and self-efficiency (Craig). Strong and healthy

bones is an participation in weight-bearing activities, can develop strong, healthy bones, which is

important to develop at a young age. As we grow older, we experience a decrease in bone mass

every year. Building strong, healthy bones at a young age can help reduce the risks of developing

Osteoporosis later on in life (Craig).

Participating in gymnastics does not only offer physical gains but can be an increased

cognitive function, it is beneficial for improving concentration and mental focus. The sport
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allows children the chance to think for themselves, to stimulate their imaginations and to solve

problems safely (Benefits Of Gymnastics."). Daily exercise needs is a must when included in

gymnastics. The American Heart Association recommends children participate in 60 minutes of

physical activity per day. Adults should participate in 30 minutes of exercise at least five days

per week. Gymnastics helps meet the exercise recommendations set forth by the American Heart

Association. (Benefits Of Gymnastics").

Strength Development in Gymnastics produces, pound-for-pound, to the best athletes in

the world. The sport uses body weight exercises to build upper body, lower body and core

strengths. participation in weight bearing activities including gymnastics which can develop

strong, healthy bones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that weight

bearing exercises help promote bone density. Increased bone density is important for helping

young individuals grow. As a gymnast ages, they are likely to experience a decrease in bone

mass every year. Building strong, healthy bones while young can help reduce the risks of

developing osteoporosis later on in life (Benefits Of Gymnastics).

Discipline is a must when teaching Gymnastics instills a sense of discipline. Students must

have the self control to make corrections when a instructed, and they must also have the self

discipline to stay on task when the coach is working with others (Springfit).

Social skills increases and provides an opportunity to develop social skills. Younger children

learn how to stand in line, look, listen, be quiet when others at talking, work and think

independently, and how to be respectful of others. The older kids learn how to set a good

example for the people who look up to them and become role models at a young age. For some

people gymnastics helps them to build lifelong relationships with other gymnasts (Springfit).
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Disease Prevention in gymnastics maintain a healthy body, which is key to preventing

multiple health conditions such as asthma, cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Being

involved in gymnastics helps a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity and eating a

well balanced diet (Benefits Of Gymnastics). Stretching out your joints while doing gymnastic

exercises can also lift off a lot of stress and pressure in your bones and those ligaments.

Illustration 1: Deusen

Illustration 2: Graves
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Works Cited

"Benefits Of Gymnastics." Benefits Of. N.p., 10 Sept. 2010. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.

Bentlon, Kermit T. "Mentor Interview." Telephone interview. 27 Feb. 2017.

Code of Ethics. 2003, doi:10.1044/policy.et2003-00166.

Deusen, Amy Van. Your Handy Introduction to the Sport of Gymnastics. ThoughtCo, Accessed 30 Mar. 2017.

"Did You Know There Are 6 Different Types of Gymnastics? - By North Atlantic

Graves, Will. Biles, Douglas Headline US Women's Gymnastics Team. NBC 7 San

Diego, NBC 7 San Diego, 30 Mar. 2017,

"History of Gymnastics Timeline." Timetoast. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017

History of Gymnastics | History of Gymnastics |, Accessed 30 Mar. 2017.

Olympic Leotards. Olympic Leotards, Accessed

31 Mar. 2017.

Peters, Craig. "Chapter 2: It's All About Attitude." Techniques Of Dance For

Cheerleading (2003): 14. MAS Complete. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

The Benefits of Doing Gymnastics...... The Benefits of Doing Gymnastics......,

Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.

Springfit. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2017.

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Stratford, Sarah Jane. Women's Fashion 1910s. LoveToKnow, LoveToKnow Corp, Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.

"What Do the Olympic Rings Represent?" What Do the Olympic Rings Represent? -

Quora. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.