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Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

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The Viking Times


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Is Gymnastics a Sport?

Photo in Courtesy of FloGymnastics

Gymnastics is the art of rythym, dance, facials, and impressive skills; But what you don’t see behind the curtiains is the physical demand of the sport, mental blocks, flexibilty that it requires.

There are four events in gymnastics — floor, uneven bars, vault, and beam. All these events are incredibly different, and you must maintain a healthy, fit body to succeed in the sport. For example, to do vault you need to have a strong run, or else you will not have the momentum to get over the table, you also have a blind landing which you must trust your body enough to complete the skill, without acquiring an injury. Uneven bars require  upper body strength, and the athletes constantly get what gymnasts call “Rips” which is essentially torn skin on the upper layers of your skin on your hand, wrist, or both. There is so much more, but lets here two common arguments!

The definition of a sport is, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Gymnastics is exactly what is mentioned here, gymnasts condition hours upon hours and do flexibilty training constantly, competing against a handful of other gymnasts and people watch the sport for entertainment.

Writer, Jeff Postlewaite, says, “I believe that in order to embody the spirit of a sport, a competition should have a clear, well-defined objective and that there should be a clearly defined difference between a winner and a loser.” In the scoring system, the gymnast will perform on 4 events, on each event they will recieve a score from 1-10, and the score decreases on the amount of deductions, which each have a different value. Yes, it is unclear who the actual winner is when awards are announced for a specific apparatus, but at the end of awards they do all-around which is the sum of what the gymnast got on each event. If a gymnast got 8.7 on beam, 9.3 on bars, 9.5 on floor, and a 10 on vault, their all-around would be calculated to 37.5. This determines the clear winner.

The same writer also comments, “The outcome is still based entirely on how a small group of people interpret an individual’s performance. That sounds like a recital, pageant, or concert to me.” Except, they do not focus or are biased on the individual, they follow the skill values and worth of deductions.

Writer, Brad Oremland, states, “Watch old gymnastic routines, and many of them are stunning. They’re beautiful and impressive and artistic and precise, and altogether fun to watch; Nadia Comaneci never gets old.  Contemporary gymnastics is all about the degree of difficulty, meeting the weird grading system, and other than the brief tumbling runs in a floor routine, I generally don’t find it very entertaining.”Nadia Comăneci, and so many other gymnasts like Olga Korbut from that time competed gorgeous, intricate, unique routines, but several of these gymnasts con seriously hurt from these skills so they were banned. Now, USA Gymnastics sticks to more safe and impressive skills for the gymnast to display. Plus, this is also generalizing the entire sport, check out high school and college gymnastics routines. My personal favortie Katelyn Ohashi’s floor routine, which she received a 10 on. If you search it up it should be the first choice. Anyway, her routine is packed with creativity, complex skills, and her impressive flexibility abilities.

Thank you for reading, and of course all opinions are valid, this is just my take!

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About the Contributor
Mackenzie Lynch, Writer
Hi, my name is Mackenzie Lynch! I am a sophmore and this is my first year in Newspaper Club. I am so excited to write stories this year as that is what I love to do in my free time. This is such an incredible oppurtunity and I cannot wait to work with other talented writiers. Here are a few otheer things that I do -- I am on the cheerleading team, gymnastics team, a dancer at Winthrop School of Performing Arts, I am active in Student Council, Math club, and of course Newspaper Club. As said before I cannot wait to advance my writing in these articles and intrigue people with my stories in addition to me reading other people's stories. Thank you for reading!

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