Why Gymnastics Is The Hardest Sport Out There

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In my pervious post I talked about how, to a lot of people, gymnastics is not considered a sport. During my research, many websites said that it is too easy and not very athletic. Today I watched a video that proved gymnasts are some of the strongest, most talented athletes in the world. John Brenkus and ESPN made this video explaining just was gymnasts have to do in their routines. They gave three specific areas in which gymnasts excel in. The first one is balance. John Brenkus says, “When gymnasts flip on the balance beam, they have an angular velocity of 600 degrees per second”. The skill he is talking about is shown above in the picture on the right. Olympic gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez is doing a back layout step out on the balance beam during team finals at the Rio Olympics. ESPN calculated this arc of her body to be about 300 degrees and the entire skill is performed in less than a second. Another subject brought up in the video is speed. It was found that when running towards that vault table, the average gymnast travels at a speed of 16 mph. This then launches the athlete, after hitting the spring board and vault table, about 13 feet into the air. Also, when pulling your arms super tight and close to your body, the gymnast can rotate about 900 degrees in less than a second. The video also talks about spacial awareness. When doing giants on the uneven bars, the pressure that is put on your shoulders is equivalent to about 9 times your body weight (John Brenkus). This means that in order to perform this basic skill, you have to have a very strong upper body and a very good grip on the bar. A lot of skills you perform in gymnastics have a blind landing, which means that the floor or bar, whatever you are landing on, is not in your vision. This sport teaches you how to land all of those skills safely, practically with your eyes closed. When I was in gymnastics I would always do front layouts with full twists. This means I was doing a front flip while spinning 360 degrees. There was not way I could ever see the ground in front of me before I landed so I had to have good spacial awareness in order to not hurt myself.

Another article I found said that gymnasts are some of the strongest, pound for pound, most flexible, and most dynamic athletes out of any sport (USA Gym). I definitely agree with this idea. Doing gymnastics for so long helped me become better in any sport I tried throughout my life. In high school I did cheerleading at my school. Gymnastics had made me strong so I could lift the other girls, gave me coordination to perform all of the routines very easily, and caused me to become the tumbler who got to do flips in the front of each performance. I also did diving and field hockey throughout high school. Gymnastics helped my endurance so I was able to run fast, and helped my ability to flip in the air and land in the water correctly.

These two sources help me prove my point that gymnastics is extremely hard and takes a lot of dedication and talent to do. Gymnastics should definitely be considered a sport by all people in the world.

 

https://usagym.org/pages/home/publications/technique/1999/3/whygymnastics.pdf

http://gymnasticszone.com/science-shows-gymnastics-is-the-most-difficult-sport-in-the-world/

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