Olympics Sports >> Gymnastics

Gymnastics

THE 14 EVENTS

Men (8 events)

  • Artistic Gymnastics (8 events): Team event, individual all-around, floor, rings, pommel horse, vaulting horse, parallel bars, horizontal bar.

Women (6 events)

  • Artistic Gymnastics (6 events): Team event, individual all-around, floor, vaulting horse, uneven bars, balance beam.

THE FORMAT

Artistic Gymnastics

A preliminary round qualifies eight men's and eight women's teams, 24 men and 24 women for the all around and eight of either sex for each individual apparatus finals.

  • Team event (6): Eight finalists. 3 out of 6 team members compete in the final at each discipline where all scores are tallied.
  • Individual all-around: The top 24 compete in the final although only two competitors per nation are allowed.
  • Apparatus finals: Two competitors from each country.

MILESTONES

Antiquity

Gymnastics is practiced in ancient Greece, India, Persia and China.

1896

Gymnastics are on the agenda at the first modern Olympic Games in Greece.

1972

The irrepresible charm of Olga Korbut popularised the sport and she became the star of the Munich Games winning the floor and beam titles.

1976

Romania's Nadia Comaneci scores the first ever perfect ten.

1984

Li Ning is the first Chinese to win an individual Olympic title.

STARS

Larissa Latynina (USSR)

With 18 Olympic medals she is the all-time top medal winner, men or women. She also held the previous joint record for golds, nine, with runners Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis and swimmer Mark Spitz before the emergence of Michael Phelps. She appeared at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 editions. She also won nine world championship gold medals including two in the individual all-around event, in 1958 and 1962.

Nadia Comaneci (Romania)

The undisputed star of the Montreal Games of 1976, she was awarded the first ever perfect ten and picked up seven such scores at the Games in all. Her exploits won her three gold medals in Canada including the all-around. She added two more Olympic titles at Moscow in 1980, won the balance beam world championship gold and team gold and was a nine-time European champion.

Vitali Scherbo (CIS/Belarus)

The Belarus Vitali Scherbo won six gold medals from the eight events he took part in at the Barcelona Games in 1992. He also won 12 world championship titles including the individual all-around gold in 1993.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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