Kind of sport
Gymnastics consists of eight events for men and six events for women. These events are performed in an interrelated manner and judged by a jury. The participants first tackle the obligatory part of the gymnastics programme then they move on to the freestyle events. The men perform the following exercises: the floor exercises, the side horse, the rings, the horse vault, the parallel bars and the horizontal bar. The women's events are: the floor exercises, asymmetrical bars, the horse vault and the balance beam.
ALL-ROUND COMPETITION TEAMS (men and women)
The highest total score of the obligatory as well as the freestyle events of the five best participants determine the distribution of the medals in the team competition.
PARALLEL BARS (men and women)
The men perform on parallel bars which are set at an equal height. In this event, the swinging exercises have to be combined with the more stationary ones which demand a great deal of strength. The parallel bars are suitable for a large array of exercises.
The women perform on the parallel bars at different heights. Of these asymmetrical bars, the lower bar is 1.50 metres above the floor and the higher one is 2.30 metres above the floor. The gymnastic apparatus can be used for a wide range of exercises, where the degree of risk, originality and an impeccable performance determine the jury's evaluation.
SIDE HORSE (men)
The horse is 1.60 metres long, 35 cm. wide and has two handles. The gymnast has to use the entire horse, with the most important exercise involving the swinging of the legs in a circle. The side horse is a continuous swinging exercise with no rest or stationary periods. Perhaps the most spectacular aspect of this event is the very athletic and high scissor movements.
HORSE VAULT (men and women)
The apparatus which is used for horse vaulting is similar to that used for the side horse, except for the fact that it is without any handles. After the run-up, the push-off is performed on a spring-board. There are three support zones on the back of the horse which can be used. And the jumps which make up this event all have varying degrees of difficulty. Every gymnast may jump twice, of these, the highest score counts. Just as with the men, the women also jump with the aid of a spring-board. However, the difference is that with the women, the horse without handles is placed broadwise. The men jump over a 1.35 metres high horse, while the women's horse is 1.10 metres high.
International gymnastic competitions only use stationary rings. Because the rings are so unstable, performing on this apparatus is particularly difficult. Besides an impeccable sense of balance, the gymnast must also have great physical strength. In this event too, the swinging, strength and stationary elements must be combined in such a way without causing any erratic rocking of the rings. The exercises which involve strength, such as hanging with an outstretched body, the hand balance, and the handstands have to be held for at least three seconds.
The horizontal bar has a beam which is 2.50 metres above the ground. On this apparatus, the gymnast performs exercises which consist purely of swinging with no pauses whatsoever. Huge swings, varying grips and even swinging with one hand make this event, which demands talent as well as a lot of courage, one of the favourites among the spectators.
BALANCE BEAM (women)
The walking surface of the beam is only 10 centimeter wide and the beam is positioned 1.20 meter above the floor. Despite the limited width of the beam, top gymnasts are capable of performing a flowing and rhythmic exercise, with a large variety of combinations and variations.
FREE EXERCISE (men and women)
With the floor or free exercise, body movements are performed without any apparatuses. There are stationary, moving and strength exercises which must be combined into a completely harmonious and flowing performance. The free exercise which is p ,<( ¨ H `T Ψ uΠΦ uΐΦ G R Ψ uψΤ uΰΦ H ° π uΈΤ c °Α Ψ π uπΦ H R Ψ uhC u Χ H `σ 0 Ψ H `T uxC u C G R uC u°C H R u Τ uΐC H R uΠC uC H `σ 0 H ΰΓ 0 u`Υ G `T 8 uπC uΰC G R 8 uC u C H ° P u`Τ c °Α 8 P u C H R 8 u@C u0C H Πσ h 8 G `T uHΤ uPC G R uΤ u`C H ° uπΣ c °Α upC H R uC uC H `σ h H `T ° u°C u C G R ° uΠC uΐC H ° Θ u°Σ c °Α ° Θ uΰC H R ° u C uπC H