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Saturday, 16 May 2015


Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.

After studying at Halle, Göttingen, and Greifswald, Frederick Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852) became a teacher. Jahn began a program of physical exercise for his students, inventing most of the equipment that is now standard in gymnasia.  He is acknowledged as 'the father of gymnastics'.

An ardent nationalist, Jahn commanded a volunteer corps in the Napoleonic Wars between 1813-15), then returned to teaching, publishing Die Deutsche Turnkunst (1816, trans A Treatise on Gymnastics).

The International Federation of Gymnastics, the world's oldest international sport federation, was founded in Liège, Belgium in 1881.

Women's gymnastics was held for the first time at the 1928 Summer Olympics at Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Hollywood legend Burt Lancaster demanded a gymnastics bar be installed on film sets so he could maintain his physique.

Russian gymnast Olga Korbut captivated the world at the 1972 Olympics at Munich with her lithe grace. She gave gymnastics a new lease of life as a sport, attracting a new generation of young gymnasts

On July 18 1976, Nadia Comaneci became the first person in the Olympic History to score a perfect 10. She received the first perfect score for her performance on the un-even bars, The computerized scoreboard could not register her perfect 10 mark but only able to show 1.00 point.

Source Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999. 

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