Artistic Gymnastics
  • Olympic Debut
    Athens 1896
  • Most Gold Medals
    Larysa Latynina (RUS)
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History of

Artistic Gymnastics

Philosophical Beginnings

Plato, Aristotle and Homer heartily advocated the strengthening qualities of gymnastic activity. The Greeks believed symmetry between the mind and body was possible only when physical exercise was coupled with intellectual activity.


The term "artistic gymnastics" emerged in the early 1800s to distinguish free-flowing styles from techniques used in military training. Gymnastic competitions began to flourish in schools and athletic clubs across Europe, and made a fitting return when the Olympic Games were revived in Athens in 1896.

Rocks and Clubs

Between 1896 and 1924 the sport evolved into what we recognise as modern gymnastics. Among those disciplines discarded were club swinging, rock lifting and even swimming, which appeared in 1922.