Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympics
Artistic gymnastics is a gymnastics discipline that is contested during the Olympics by both men and women. There are currently a total of eight medal events for men and six medal events for women. The men's events have been a part of the Olympics since the inaugural games in 1896. The women's program was added later in 1928.
Athletes compete on different apparatus such as vaults, bars and beams, as well as in 'floor' routines.
The ex-Soviet Union has been the most successful nation in the history of the games. In the men's events, they have won a total of 94 medals, which includes 39 gold medals. Japan is a close second with a total of 89 medals including their 29 gold medal wins. But unlike many other Olympic events, there is a lot of parity in men's artistic gymnastics where 27 nations have won gold medals and 33 nations have won at least one medal.
The ex-Soviet Union has dominated the women's events with 88 total medals including 33 gold medals. Women from Romania have won 22 gold medals and a total of 57 medals. Japanese women, in stark contrast to the country's men, have just won one bronze medal thus far.
Both the men and women from the United States currently hold the third spot in the all-time medal winners list with 60 and 37 total medals respectively.
- The youngest ever Olympian was Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who competed in the 1896 Athens Olympics when he was 10 years old (this does not count the young boys who competed as coxswain in the rowing events in 1896)
- In 1904 in St Louis, one of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made out of wood.
- In 1928, Luigina Giavotti became the youngest medalist of all time, helping the Italian gymnastics team pick up a silver at the age of 11 years and 302 days.
- During the London Olympics in 1948, one of nine members of Czechoslovakia women's gymnastics team, Eliška Misáková, became ill when she arrived in London. Diagnosed with polio, she died on the last day of the Olympics, the same day her remaining teammates won the competition.
- In 1964, Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina won six medals for the third time in a row. She is the gymnast with the most medals (18) and the most medals in individual events (14). See more on the Greatest Gymnasts at the Olympics.
- No gymnast had ever achieved a perfect score of 10 until Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored seven of them at the 1976 Montreal games. In 1980, she returned to win two more gold medals.
- In 1980, Soviet athlete Aleksandr Dityatin won a record eight medals in gymnastics.
- In 1984, 16-year-old Mary Lou Retton earned her place on Wheaties boxes by winning four gymnastics medals - including a gold in all-around gymnastics - just six weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
- The first and only four-way tie in any Olympic sport was achieved in 1984 - in the men's gymnastics vault apparatus four competitors finished in second place.
- In 1992, Gymnast Vitaly Scherbo of the Unified Team won six gold medals in gymnastics.
- In 1996, the US won gold in gymnastics, with the help of Kerri Strug, who nailed her second vault despite having a sprained ankle.
- In 2000, Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov won six medals, as he had done in Atlanta in 1996.
- Gymnast Svetlana Boginskaya competed at the Olympic Games for three different countries, Soviet Union (1988), Unified Team (1992) and Belarus (1996). She won two gold medals for the Soviet Union and one for the Unified, making her one of the few athletes to win gold medals for more than one country at the Olympics.
- For the first time since the 1976 Olympics, Romania did not medal in the women's team event in Rio 2016, due to Romania not qualifying a team for the first time since 1968, ending a 40-year medal run.
- Oksana Chusovitina, competing at age 46 in Tokyo 2020, is the oldest gymnast in Olympic history. It was her eighth Olympic Games in Tokyo. She won a team gold medal with the Unified team in 1992, and a silver medal representing Germany in 2008. In Tokyo she represented Uzbekistan.
- The winner of the women's all-round competition 2016 and hot favorite to repeat it in Tokyo was Simone Biles. At Tokyo, she surprisingly pulled out of the competition due to mental health issues, succumbing to the huge amount of pressure to perform well. If she competed as expected, she would have been on target to top Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina's women's record of nine gold medals.
- About Gymnastics at the Olympics
- More information about the sport of Gymnastics
- See more on the Greatest Gymnasts at the Olympics.
- Some unusual gymnastics events have once been part of the Olympics.
- Anthropometric analysis of all-round gymnastics winners
- List of Olympic Sports