Modern versions of gymnastics came about in the late 1800s. There are three forms of gymnastic events practiced at the Olympics: artistic, rhythmic and trampoline.

Gymnastics at the Olympics

Modern versions of gymnastics came about in the late 1800s. There are three forms of gymnastic events practiced at the Olympics: artistic, rhythmic and trampoline. Artistic gymnastics are so named because they are non-regimented in comparison to traditional military-based gymnastics. These were added to the Olympics in 1896, though the specific competitive elements have changed since then. Men’s individual and team competition formats appeared in the 1924 Paris Games and women’s were added at the 1952 Games. At the 2012 London Games artistic gymnastics events include: men’s floor exercises; men’s horizontal bar; men’s individual all-round; men’s parallel bars; men’s pommel horse; men’s rings; men’s team competition; men’s vault; women’s balance beam; women’s floor exercises; women’s individual all-round; women’s team competition; women’s uneven bars; and women’s vault. They are scheduled for July 30 through August 2 and August 5 through 7. A total of fourteen gold medals are at stake.

Beijing Olympics fan signed by the 2008 USA Women's Gymnastics Team (Hanging in MSU team locker room)

Rhythmic gymnastics include those events in which a woman performs a floor routine with props of a rope, hoop, ball, clubs or ribbon. Rhythmic gymnastics were added to the Olympics at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. A team event was added at the 1996 Atlanta Games. At the 2012 London Games the events include the individual all-round and the group competition. These events are scheduled for August 11-12, with two gold medals available.

Trampoline events developed as a sport in the 1930s. They were originally used to train astronauts. Trampolining was added to the Olympics at the 2000 Sydney Games. At the 2012 London Games the events include the individual men and individual women events. Trampoline events were held August 3-4 with two gold medals awarded.

Wieber Fever Hits East Lansing

The 2011 world champion all-round gymnast Jordyn Wieber hails from DeWitt, Michigan – right in our backyard! The entire area has been consumed with Wieber Fever over the past few months, and it has been exciting to see her compete as part of the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team. Although the qualification rounds did not go as she hoped, we were thrilled to see her competing once more on the international stage and we are proud of her and the other USA team members.

Gymnastics at Michigan State

MSU had a men’s gymnastics team, coached by Rick Atkinson, but it was cut after Title IX adjustments were made to the university’s sports offerings. The women’s team is going strong under Head Coach Kathie Klages. The women’s team practices and holds home events at Jenison Field House. We were lucky enough to visit the facility during one of their recent summer camp programs. See pictures below for a Beneath the Pines sneak peek. You can support the team and its facilities at the MSU Giving website.

MSU Women's Gymnastics Team
Gymnastics Team Banner - Hanging inside the team locker room
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