Is Gymnastics A Sport?

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4kocian2-946x500

Many people think that in order to be considered a sport, some kind of ball must be involved. For example, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, etc all are played with a ball of some sort. I participated in gymnastics for the last 16 years of my life and in my opinion, it is one of the hardest sports out there. And after that many years of practices, competitions, broken bones and hard work, I have still been told multiple times that what I do is not a sport. Nathan Palcowksi wrote in an article that in order to be considered a sport, the activity must include athleticism and a clear winner. “Obviously the judges in gymnastics have rules but they are very loose rules that they have to go by. A judge could mark down a person for not doing something right just because they’re not a fan of that athlete. I’m not saying it happens often but there is never going to be an objective winner in gymnastics” (Palcowksi). First of all, you have to be very athletic to do gymnastics. With hours of conditioning and strength every weak, this sport definitely makes you stronger. And you must be very coordinated as well. Gymnastics teaches you air sense, flexibility, and how to fall correctly without getting hurt because in gymnastics you are going to fall over and over again no matter how good you are at it.

A different article from argues that, “To be a sport, an athletic activity substantially has to be objectively timed, measured or scored.” The author of this believes that gymnastics does not fall into this category. However, gymnastics is timed, measured and scored. Both floor and balance beam routines have to be choreographed to a certain length of music. Which means you have to fit all of your tumbling passes and dance skills into a short amount of time, and if you go even a second over the given amount of time you get a deduction. Also, every skill in gymnastics is measured. They are all given a difficulty score and well as a category for what kind of skill is it. And every routine needs to be made up of a certain number of skills and a certain difficulty score. And of course in gymnastics you are scored, on everything. And sometimes you may think that the scoring in unfair but the judges don’t judge you on whether or not they like you, they don’t know anything about any of the gymnasts so one cannot argue that their judging is easy and unfair. Not only has gymnastics been a sport in the olympics, but it is one of the most popular ones. This year the USA women’s gymnastics team was awarded Team of the Year for the Olympics in Rio. They would not have given this award to a team that was not athletic and not considered a sport. I think that all of the people who say gymnastics is not a sport should try it out and see how hard it really is.



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