Did you know that gymnastics originated in Ancient Greece? The word gymnastics comes from the Greek word for disciplinary exercises that combine physical skill with grace and artistic acrobatics. Gymnastics can be performed by both men and women at many levels from personal classes to competitions.
Introduced in early Greek civilization, gymnastics was created to facilitate bodily development. The sport originally included a series of exercises like running and weight lifting, which gymnasts performed completely unclothed. After taking over Greece, the Romans turned gymnastics into a more formal sport—one more similar to what we recognize as gymnastics today.
In 1774, student Johann Bernhard Basedow again changed to sport by adding more physical activity to it at his school in Dessau, Saxony. Thus began the modernization of gymnastics. Later, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn developed gymnastics to include the events we do today, including the vault, bars, beam, and floor.
The past century has seen many modern gymnastics competitions, during which stars have risen. Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci, for example, made a huge impact on gymnastics in the 1970's. Because of these amazing athletes, many countries began to promote gymnastics particularly for women.
The sport of gymnastics has come a long way and gained world-wide popularity since its creation in Ancient Greece. Gymnastics is certainly a great alternative for people who want to stay active and fit, yet don’t want to participate in a competitive team activity.