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Artistic Gymnastics

Artistic gymnast


There are different forms of gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics, which has been quite successful in Great Britain, has a successful team which is ever evolving, with gymnasts who compete nationally and internationally and place medal positions at events such as the Olympic Games. Artistic gymnastics involves elements such as the balance beam, vault, rings, pommel horse, parallel bars, horizontal bar and the floor exercise. Female gymnasts would perform in four of these (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise), while male gymnasts would perform in six (floor exercise, still rings, vault, pommel horse, parallel and horizontal bars).


During the floor exercise, gymnasts have to perform a routine which includes gymnastics elements such as balances, spins, and tumbling. These would form the main structure of the routine, while in between those elements you would find the choreography. All of the above play an important role in achieving the highest possible mark for the gymnast.


In recent news, there is one particular gymnast who might have caught your attention, as her routine went viral beginning of January 2019. Katelyn Ohashi, is a retired artistic gymnast who recently competed a floor routine with her school UCLA (University of California). Her routine, featuring a Michael Jackson song and choreography scored a perfect ten from the judges. Katelyn recently performed this routine again, only changing the choreography and music choice to songs and movement inspired by Tina Turner, Janet Jackson and Beyonce. The reason for this, is due to the backlash anything Michael Jackson had after the showing of Leaving Neverland broadcasted, and Ohashi who wanted her routines to be inspiring said:


"The goal of my routine is pure joy, and after the documentary, not everyone was feeling that way, and you can never discredit someone’s feelings,” Ohashi said. “So yes, it was in the back of my mind because my main goal is to find as much joy as possible in this routine." (Kady Lang March 22, 2019).



This routine is a great example to show how choreography comes into this part of the sport. Traditionally however, floor exercise routines tend to look slightly less dancey, even though choreography is still an important factor.


If you want to check this, videos are available online where you can watch hundreds of artistic gymnastics routines, and the difference in performance is clear. Choreography is still visible, however the execution is slightly more robotic in comparison to what we watched above in Katelyn Ohashi’s routine. Other routines to watch out for are those performed by USA treasure Simone Biles, as this gymnast is quite a performer as well as a powerful gymnast.


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In current news, the 2019 European Championships are being held this week in Szczecin, Poland 10th-14th April. The team representing GB is a powerful one, including all around European champion Ellie Downie and junior European all around bronze medallist Amelie Morgan. This will be Morgan’s first time European event as a senior. Also in the team, is Alice Kinsella, Commonwealth Games beam champion and concluding the womens artistic team is Claudia Fragapane, who has stepped in after replacing 2018 British all-around champion Kelly Simm due to an unfortunate foot injury. This will be Fragapane’s first major event, since the 2017 Wold Championships.


The mens team also consists of names that may be familiar, with Max Whitlock, 2017 European all-around bronze medallist James Hall, 2017 5th all-around European gymnast Joe Fraser, 2018 ring medallist Courtney Tulloch, 2018 all-around British Champion Brinn Bevan and finally, current European floor champion Dom Cunningham.


Coverage for this event will be available across the BBC, or alternatively, links are available on the British Gymnastics (BG) page, where you can watch the event live. Scheduled times are listed on the BG website (link available below).


For further news and updates you can check out the British Gymnastics twitter page and also updates from the gymnasts themselves on their personal pages.


Wishing the team the best of luck.


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