Home / 2008 Beijing Olympic Games / Olympic sports / Rhythmic Gym. / Inside This Sport Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Discipline's origin
Adjust font size:

When rhythmic gymnastics first caught the attention of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) in the middle of the 20th century, its devotees were calling it "modern gymnastics". Yet its hazy history can clearly be traced to at least the last century.

In the 1800s rhythmic gymnastics operated under the guise of group gymnastics, and included a trace of elementary choreography. It grew slowly until the first experimental competitions appeared in Eastern Europe in the 1930s, but, by the time the FIG became interested, its complex floor routines had captured the attention of a wide circle of female gymnasts.

Rhythmic gymnastics requires balletic grace and incorporates many positions and leaps derived from classical ballet, including pliés, jetés, attitudes and arabesques. However, it also grew out of the German system of emphasising apparatus work for muscle development, combined with the Swedish system of free exercise for developing rhythm.

The FIG recognised rhythmic gymnastics as an official discipline in 1962 and, a year later, Budapest officials organised an international tournament. In 1964 the tournament was officially declared the first Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. Ludmila Savinkova of the Soviet Union became the first world champion, partly because the field included a total of only 28 gymnasts from 10 European countries.

The numbers swelled quickly though, as interest spread to other parts of the world. Gymnasts from the United States first appeared at the championships in 1973, and rhythmic gymnastics slowly emerged from the shadow of the long-established artistic discipline.


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
Most Viewed >>

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys