Gymnastics: History and Value - A Perspective
Gymnastics, as an activity, has been around for more than two thousand years in one form or another, from ancient Greek Olympics, to Roman ceremony, to today’s modern meets.
As an organized and truly competitive sport, gymnastics has existed for a little more than a century. It was introduced in mid 1800s to United States, where it inexorably gained in popularity within school systems.
Amateur associations gathered together by late nineteenth century, offering classes and opportunities for young people to join in on fun. Eventually, these associations began to have their own championships.
In 1896, at first international Olympic games in Athens, Greece, sport we all know and love enjoyed its first large-scale debut. Included in Olympic tournament were vaulting, parallel bars, pommel horse, and rings events for men. The first women’s Olympic gymnastics events were held in 1928. After Olympics began to officially host gymnastics, World Championship gymnastics meet emerged in early 1900s, and it is still held to this very day.
Thus began a noble tradition that continues even in modern Olympic games and in local, regional, national, and world meets all over.
If you’re parent of a young gymnast, odds are, people are going to ask you, “Why did you choose gymnastics over swimming, ballet, football, baseball, or soccer?” It is an easy question to offer, but not a simple one to answer.
Their curiosity is entirely understandable--to uninitiated, may have a lower profile than others. However, if you are indeed very serious about your child participating in sport, you can tell those people, with great authority, that gymnastics is an excellent way to spend time. Not only does it have a long and illustrious history, but it also requires attention and discipline on part of a child--more so, perhaps, than one involved in any other sport.
In order to become successful at sport of gymnastics, your child will have to get into a routine of practice.
This type of routine is different from, say, soccer practice or hockey practice, in that it does not involve concept of physical rivalry with other individuals. A gymnast is not typically seen chasing after another gymnastics youth with a set of rings as one might see a hockey player attacking another person on an opposing team.