Rhythmic Gymnastics is a purely feminine Olympic discipline.
Totally based on floor work, it is performed to music and uses five apparatus: the rope, the hoop, the ball, the clubs, and the ribbon performed on a carpet that is 13 m x 13 m. Individual exercises are limited to 90 seconds per apparatus and emphasize mastery and agility. For example, it is not unusual to see a wide range of highly technical jumps or leaps in rope exercises.
The hoop, measuring 80-90 cm in diameter, is rolled over and around the gymnast's body or used as a prop for highly technical movements on the carpet.
The diameter of the ball is 18-20 cm. Characterized by throws and catches, this apparatus is also used as a prop for floor exercises. The ball is often tossed high up in the air to allow the gymnast to perform rotations before she catches it with any part of her body.
The clubs are 40-50 cm in length. Holding the clubs with both hands, the gymnast performs intricate circular movements. Throws and catches are the significant elements in the handling of this apparatus.
The ribbon measures 6 m and is made of satin. The ribbon creates snakes, spirals, and circular movements, all initiated by the gymnast who is handling the stick to which the ribbon is attached.
In group exercises, five gymnasts work together for a maximum of two and a half minutes per exercise. The choice of the apparatus is determined by the regulations and for each Olympic cycle.
To read more about Canada’s history in rhythmic gymnastics, click here.
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