Gymnastics special: beauty and history in motion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

The sport, which has been in the Olympic programme since Athens 1896, will award its 1,000th medal at the Rio Olympic Arena

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A rhythmic gymnast dazzles the crowd at the London 2012 Olympic Games  (Photo: Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)
A rhythmic gymnast dazzles the crowd at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo: Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)

Acrobatics, perfectly synchronised choreography and amazing leaps: these are some of the elements of one of the most enchanting sports at the Olympic Games - gymnastics. The topic of this month’s special series on, gymnastics promises to provide a beautiful spectacle at the Rio Olympic Arena in Barra da Tijuca, where the sport’s competitions will be held in 2016.

Gymnastics has been present in the Olympic programme since the first Games of the modern era, in 1896 in Athens, where it was represented by its most traditional discipline, artistic gymnastics. The sport’s two other disciplines – rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline – joined the programme in 1984 and 2000 respectively, increasing the sport’s presence and importance in the Olympic world.

In this series of articles, you will discover which milestone the sport will reach at the Rio 2016 Games, read about the characteristics and leading athletes of each discipline, find out the secret of Russia’s inexhaustible rhythmic gymnastics talent production line and discover the plans of Olympic trampoline champion Rosie MacLennan and Brazil’s artistic gymnast Daniele Hypólito for the next edition of the Games.


Tuesday (25 March)Gymnastics to reach 1,000th medal milestone at Rio 2016

Wednesday (26 March)The new generation aiming to maintain Russia's dominance of rhythmic gymnastics

Thursday (27 March)Rosie MacLennan returns to Brazil, looking to win an unprecedented second Olympic gold in trampoline

Friday (28 March)Approaching retirement, Daniele Hypólito is a role model in Brazilian artistic gymnastics

Want to find out more about other sports? See the topics already covered in previous editions of our special features: athleticsbadmintonbasketballwheelchair basketballboxingboccia, goalballjudowrestlingswimmingparacanoemodern pentathlonrugbytaekwondoshootingtriathlonsailingvolleyballbeach, volleyballhandballgolf, football, tenniscyclingarcheryfencingrowingtable tennis and hockey.

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