The Webster Dictionary defines Gymnastics as a competitive sport in which individuals perform optional and prescribed acrobatic feats on specialized apparatus, in order to demonstrate strength, balance and body control. To better understand what Gymnastics is, you need to understand what a Gymnast is.
What is a Gymnast?
When you watch an accomplished gymnast in action you are witnessing perfect harmony of mind and body. A gymnast has the concentration of a chess player, the strength of a weightlifter, the balance of an aerialist, the timing of a marksman, the tumbling of an acrobat and the grace and flexibility of a ballet dancer.
Gymnastics is a sport that develops flexibility, strength, grace, discipline, control, co-ordination, goal orientation, confidence, creativity, leadership, a healthy body and positive self-esteem. An athlete’s goals and objectives can vary when participating in the sport of gymnastics. The goal may simply be to participate in a weekly gymnastics class for fun and fitness; or to compete for a high school team, to be a Provincial Champion, to earn a College scholarship, to compete in a National Championship or to make a World Championship or Olympic team.
Gymnasts strive to perform their personal best routines, perform new elements that go beyond the impossible and skills that will take your breath away. A Gymnasts’ routines will contain skills with multiple rotations, twists and turns. Routines that demand great strength, flexibility, power, concentration and skill. Routines are performed which many call impossible, but to a Gymnast nothing is impossible.
In addition to recreational gymnastics, there are seven competitive disciplines of gymnastics: Women’s artistic, Men’s Artistic, Rhythmic, Aesthetic Group, Trampoline, Tumbling, Acrobatic and Aerobic. Women’s and Men’s Artistic, Trampoline and Rhythmic gymnastics are Olympic sports.