From the Ancient Greeks to the Ancient Egyptians, Gymnastics has been the pinnacle of human movement for millennia. The sport has evolved to the modern day disciplines that include; Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Tumbling and Trampoline Gymnastics, Acrobatic & Aerobic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Gymnastics for All.
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics was added to the modern Olympics in 1896, but it was not until 40 years later, in 1936, that the popular Women’s Artistic Gymnastics was added to the Olympic Games. Trampoline was added to the Sydney, Australia Summer Olympics in 2000.
The word gymnastics derives from the common Greek adjective (gymnos) meaning “naked”,by way of the related verb (gymnazo), whose meaning is “to train naked”, “train in gymnastic exercise”, generally “to train, to exercise”. The verb had this meaning, because athletes in ancient times exercised and competed without clothing. It came into use in the 1570s, from Latin gymnasticus, from Greek gynmastikos “fond of or skilled in bodily exercise,” from gymnazein “to exercise or train”.
Originally, gymnastics and acrobatic activities could be separated into three broad categories: military or institutional training & discipline, performance & entertainment, exercise or rehabilitative therapy.
Today thousands of children get a head start in physical literacy by participating in any number of organized programs at clubs and facilities all over the world. The Fédération International de Gymnastique or FIG is the world’s governing organization for all the gymnastics disciplines.
Gymnastics is an ancient sport rooted in tradition that has evolved into one of the most popular activities in the world.