Sport History: Rhythmic Gymnastics

A sport growing in recognition throughout the United States today, rhythmic gymnastics is a lyrical combination of ballet, acrobatics, and apparatus handling. The Soviet Union, with its long and rich history in dance and arts, captured this growing sport in its earlier stages and to this day countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria are dominating powers in the world of rhythmic.

Initially rhythmic was recognized as an individual sport in 1961, followed by Olympic recognition in 1984. The sport’s appeal lies in the diversity of movements; each competitive gymnast performs four routines, every routine with a different apparatus. They must display a variety of elements including leaps, pivots, balances, and movements demonstrating flexibility. Not only are gymnasts scored according to technical success, but also there is a score for expression. This motivates gymnasts to present heartfelt and lyrical performances—combining intricate apparatus handling, pristine execution, and an expressive performance is what makes a champion in Rhythmic gymnastics.