With roots in Ancient Greece, Artistic Gymnastics is as ancient as it is spectacular, combining speed, strength, power and flexibility with tumbling and acrobatic skills, all performed with an emphasis on style. The ever-evolving sport continues to adapt for the new millennia as it stays true to the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Faster, Higher, Stronger").
Gymnasts display superhuman strength as they challenge gravity and push the limits of physics in six separate events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar.
Floor Exercise features tumbling and other acrobatic elements on a specially created Floor Exercise mat. Pommel Horse requires gymnasts to show circles, flairs and other swinging elements above the horse. The Still Rings is a test of endurance and strength, withe gymnasts supporting themselves and performing complex holds with their arms. Vault, one of two power events along with Floor Exercise, is the fastest event and features a gymnast propelling themselves over a vaulting table at full sprint. Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar are both swinging events with frequent releases and a big dismount.
On all events, gymnasts are judged on difficulty of the exercise, execution, along with dynamics, including height and distance from apparatus, and must show strength, flexibility and balance.
Men's Artistic Gymnastics has been part of every summer Olympic Games from antiquity through the modern revival begun in 1896, and the Olympic Games are the pinnacle of the four-year world Gymnastics calendar. Artistic Gymnastics is also part of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, first held in 2010.
World championships are held annually except in Olympic years and are open to senior competitors (18 and over for men). Just four countries - Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - took part in the first world championships in 1903 in Antwerp, but today’s world championships are now a truly global event and are the most prestigious event in the sport alongside the Olympic Games.
Organised by the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation, the first Junior World Championships are slated for 2019 and will be held as a trial event with possible permanent inclusion on the FIG calendar.
Following the Olympic Games, World Championships and continental events, the FIG World Cup competitions are the most popular events on the international calendar. The World Cup series includes All-around events and apparatus-only events. A point system determines the overall series victor. Beginning in November 2018 in Cottbus (GER), the World Cup series for the first time will be part of the Olympic qualification contest.
World Challenge Cup competitions are major FIG events that attract broad participation. They are aimed at supporting the affiliated federations in developing Gymnastics worldwide through the organisation of high-standard FIG international events. At each World Challenge Cup competition, gymnasts have the opportunity to win prize money and points that count toward the World Challenge Cup Ranking List.