by Christine

gym2.jpgImagine walking into a gymnasium. There is a dusty chalk smell hanging in the air. The whole gym becomes silent as the next gymnast waits for the judge to give her the salute. This is the sport of blood, sweat and even tears. This is gymnastics.
Womens Gymnastics

Have you ever wondered how gymnastics was created? In ancient Greece, one guy found out that it was fun to grab a bull by the horns and flip onto its back. When he did this and other men saw him, they thought that they could do the same thing, but they thought that they could do it even better. This became known as bull leaping and it traveled all over the land. After some time they added other things such as tightrope walking, swinging on tree branches, and tumbling. The athletes that could do this the best were cheered on as heroes.(Gutman 1) ("First Olympics and Gymnastics in Ancient Greece").

In 776 B.C. the winner of the Olympics received a girl. This got started by King Oenomaus. Legend has it that King Oenomaus would offer his daughter in marriage to the guy who could kidnap his daughter without him noticing. Thirteen men tired to kidnap the princess but all failed in the process. The fourteenth guy who attempted this, successfully did so. The king was so relieved that he celebrated by starting the Olympic Games in Greece’s valley of Olympia. There are so many beliefs to how gymnastics got started, the truth is that nobody knows how it really got started. All we know is that it has been around for quite some time, and it will be around for a lot longer. (Gutman 4).

Men's Gymnastics
Since the ancient times where people tightrope walked and flipped onto bulls backs, gymnastics has come a long way. In women’s gymnastics there are four basic events. The vault, or sometimes known as the horse, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. (Gutman 52). In men’s gymnastics there are six events. Parallel bars, high bar, vault, floor exercise, pommel horse, and the rings. (Men’s gymnastics). In each of these events, the gymnasts would have to perform a routine filled with flipping, swinging, tumbling, and balance. They gymnasts were scored from a scale from one to ten. With one being the lowest score and ten being the highest score, very few gymnasts have reached a perfect score (Kennedy).

Works Cited
Gutman, Dan. Gymnastics. New York: The Penguin Group, 1996. 1-178.
"First Olympics and Gymnastics in Ancient Greece." Gymnastics Zone for Gymnasts, Coaches and Parents. Web. 13 Dec. 2009.

Kennedy, Donald "Here Come the Olympics." Science 30 July 2004: 573. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 12 Dec. 2009.