Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Zoe from AL. Zoe Wonders, “Who made up gymnastics ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Zoe!
If you're going to play soccer, you need a soccer ball. If you're going to play baseball, you need a baseball, a bat, and a glove. Do you know what sport you'd be engaged in if you needed some rings, uneven bars, a pommel horse, and a balance beam? Gymnastics, of course!
If you're a fan of the Olympics, then you've probably seen women and men competing in gymnastics. The variety of different types of gymnastic events is one of the unique things about the sport that draws the interest of so many fans.
Gymnasts can compete in over a dozen different types of individual events. Many events use a special piece of equipment, known as an apparatus. Some of the apparatuses you may have seen or heard of include the balance beam, uneven bars, parallel bars, pommel horse, and the rings.
The gymnastic routines performed on the various apparatuses require gymnasts to possess a wide range of abilities and skills. A well-rounded gymnast will have exceptional body strength, balance, flexibility, agility, power, coordination, control, discipline, and self-confidence.
Gymnastics is also one of the unique sports that allows you to compete as both an individual and as part of a team. When a gymnast performs, he or she does so as an individual. Each individual gymnast's score is then added together with those of teammates to reach a total score for the team.
Scores in gymnastics start with a base score (usually a perfect 10), from which points are subtracted based upon the difficulty of the routine, how many mistakes are made, and the overall artistry of the performance. A gymnast who performs a difficult, artistic routine flawlessly would receive a perfect score of 10.
Some experts believe that the sport of gymnastics is thousands of years old. In fact, some historians believe its roots may go back over 4,000 years! They think gymnastics likely evolved from exercises the ancient Greeks developed to improve skills for the mounting and dismounting of horses.
Modern gymnastics as we know it today began in Germany in the 1800s. Experts give credit to two pioneering physical education experts: Johann Freidrich GutsMuths and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn.
In the United States, women first received gymnastics instruction in 1862 at Mount Holyoke College. Women first competed in gymnastics in the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928. Men competed in gymnastics as early as the first modern Olympic games in 1896.