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10 Facts about gymnasts who often hang around backstage

The mobility of the human body in sports activities such as gymnastics, in its different modalities, is an art composition with a demanding physical performance. What you need: balance, flexibility, agility, endurance and control, especially when it comes to competitions between professional athletes. And every detail counts, both aesthetic and performance.

O awesome.club wants to share with you some curiosities behind the practice of this sport.

1. Having short stature may favor some modalities, but it is not decisive

The height of a gymnast has been the subject of discussion, as it is short women who usually make it to professional competitions. Although the reason is said to be a greater ability to perform movements that involve full-body rotations while achieving a good strength-to-weight ratio, winning depends on much more detail than just the size of the athlete.

Furthermore, it is possible that the very nature of the sport attracts short people (as basketball attracts tall people) and this explains why girls are often short in stature. Differences between disciplines are also noteworthy: for example, rhythmic gymnast Aleksandra Soldatova measures 1.74 m, while artistic gymnastics athlete Simone Biles is 1.43 m.

2. There are rules of behavior before and after each sequence

Although some competition rules refer to the athletic performance and appearance of the gymnast, it is also important to take care of the athletes’ behavior during the competition. For example, when performing a sequence, the athlete should not be touched or instructed, as this may result in a deduction of their score.

On the other hand, the evaluation of the judges during a sequence in the competition begins when the gymnast greets the judges by raising her arms and ends when performing the same gesture. In addition, gymnasts, judges and coaches are strictly prohibited from using communication devices such as cell phones.

3. The gymnasts adapt their clothes according to the season and pay more and more attention to details

As with other sports, such as figure skating, in the gymnasts’ routine, in addition to all the demonstration of talent, the costumes, or the tights used. However, it was not always like this. In the past, sobriety was the norm and fabrics very different from those used today.

the cutting of tights Modern fabrics help create an optical illusion, giving the appearance of longer legs, while brighter materials better show the athlete’s muscles. Every detail counts: the body type, the skin tone of the competitors and even the color of the rugs.

4. A wrong hairstyle can cost you points

To prevent the judges from subtracting points, another rule that few would dare to break is to wear a hairstyle other than a tight braid, buns or ponytails. The hair must be pulled back, so as not to obstruct the view and not create insecurity in the athlete. In that sense, a pair of earrings is considered a dangerous item and flashy jewelry is also not allowed.

5. Even if they retire professionally, most maintain training routines for the rest of their lives

Gymnasts’ bodies get used to the stress of training (they start playing sport before the age of five, training around 40 hours a week) and may need it to stay stable throughout life, albeit at a lower intensity. Maybe that’s why most ex-gymnasts maintain some sort of routine.

Yet training injuries can crop up decades later. To date, the oldest gymnast to compete in an Olympics was Oksana Chusovitina and, due to her age, she defies the average. Her performance could be down to her genes, as some athletes like her recover quickly from bodily stress.

6. Calluses can be athletes’ allies

Corns are not always harmful. According to Carlos de Teresa Galván, member of the Governing Board of the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine, in some modalities, such as gymnastics, calluses can be useful, as they warn, to a certain extent, that the athletes’ training is not being practiced properly. and need to change.

7. Practice viewing sequences as a form of training

On one occasion, Olympic gymnast Margarita Mamun advised a group of younger athletes to try to imagine their training routines for 1 minute and 30 seconds before bed. Visualization by gymnasts is a frequent psychological practice during training, competitions (to reduce anxiety) and even during rehabilitation.

8. Gymnasts can’t always choose what they wear

When competing as a team, usually the tights are selected by the coaches, without the gymnasts having a special influence on the choice. Although there are flexible countries that take advantage of the talent of the gymnasts themselves.

On the other hand, when competing in a group in the classification phase, the athletes must wear the same uniform, but once they reach the finals, the gymnasts can choose the clothes they want (among several options).

9. To make the clothes stay in place, you can use a type of glue

In a competition, you should avoid showing your underwear so you don’t lose points. Some prefer not to wear anything underneath leotard and others even use a spray glue to keep the clothes in place.

10. May be willing to deal with pain to achieve their goals

On some occasions in the history of the sport, the difference in scores for first and second place has been so disputed that athletes have decided to deal with the pain in order to achieve victory.

Kerri Strug (pictured left) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, after a botched landing, sprained her ankle, but the athlete managed to keep going, taking a second jump that took her team to gold.

Olympian Fujimoto (pictured right) also went down in history after breaking his knee during a ground sequence at a competition in 1976. The athlete concealed the injury so as not to alert his rivals. On the subject, he said: “Even though I was injured, I had to do it anyway, for myself and for the team”. His valiant performance helped Japan win gold.

Do you like to follow gymnastics competitions? Do you know any other information about this modality? What sports do you play or would you like to play?

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