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Old 08-09-2012, 03:34 PM
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Default Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

As I am sitting here, typing this thread, I am watching an Olympic team rhythmic routine. Now, don't get me wrong here, I love dance and I love sports (especially watching gymnastics. I have mad respect for them), but I don't believe rhythmic gymnastics should be considered a sport.

I do understand that there are many sports with synchronization, such as synchronized swimming and team figure skating, but this isn't about that. This is strictly about rhythmic gymnastics.

While watching rhythmic gymnastics, it reminds me too much of dance, and not enough of gymnastics. Rhythmic gymnastics, in my mind, seems to be too much about the aesthetics, and not enough about the technique.

I believe that rhythmic gymnastics should not be considered a sport. I believe that this Olympic event should be replaced with a far more challenging and technique-driven form of gymnastics: tumbling.

To give you a comparison of rhythmic gymnastics vs. tumbling, here's a video of each.


I would like the opinions of others, especially if you are a gymnast. Do you believe that rhythmic gymnastics is a sport or an art, and why?

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

Sport. I defy you to do half the things they're doing.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

Eh... I'd consider it an art. They're not doing anything absolutely jaw-dropping, just... dancing. I consider gymnastics to be showing your intense endurance, flexibility, and skill (the reason why I'm awed at men's gymnastics). Sure, I probably can't do half the stuff they do, but I also can't do half the stuff regular dancers do as well.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

The thing about sports is that most sports, when it comes into mind have one thing in common: an objective scoring system and rules built around said scoring system. Think about it: soccer, football, baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, track and field, etc. all have this same principle.

Rhythmic gymnastics don't have an objective scoring system. It relies on judges to give a scoring, which is by definition a subjective scoring system. Under this circumstance, it feels like it doesn't belong in the same category of existence by that definition. To me that makes it less of a sport and more of an art. In fact, it's hardpressed to not consider this and other subjective scoring olympic sports like figure skating and diving to be something that can be considered "beautiful".
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

I completely agree with Kenny. Anything that requires judging is less of a sport and more of an art. If synchronised swimming, trampolining, diving and gymnastics (all forms) are all included as sports, then dance should be as well. I find it strange that some, but not others are included in the olympics.

As far as rhythmic gymnastics vs. tumbling... same thing again, even though one might be more difficult. They both require judging and I don't think either of them really qualify as a true "sport" when compared to running, swimming, football etc. Just because it's physically difficult and requires some skills, doesn't make it a sport rather than an art.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

Isn't the mat with springs already a part of the team gymnastics?

And I'd say art, but it's a demanding art. See above posts for reasoning.

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Old 08-11-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Rhythmic Gymnastics: Sport or Art?

Well, in all technicalities, the actual "sport" itself that is included in the Olympics is 'Gymnastics'. It is then divided into different disciplines, in this case 'Artistic', 'Rhythmic' and 'Trampoline'. Rhythmic Gymnastics are still a form of Gymnastics.

From the Olympic website:

To make it onto the Olympic programme, a sport first has to be recognised: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport's activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practised around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognised sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC's Olympic Programme Commission.
So, following this definition, dancing (or more technically 'Dancesport') in itself is a sport (administered by the World DanceSport Federation). Even if Rhythmic Gymnastics does take influence from dance (remember, the main focus in itself is the actual execution of the Gymnastic done), that doesn't void it in any way, shape or form.

Also, tumbling is included within the Artistic Team All-Around events (male and female).

Unless you actually are fully experienced in the judging of Rhythmic Gymnastics, you can't really give an opinion on whether it's "too much about the aesthetics" or not.

In short: Yes, it's a sport. It's not a subjective matter.
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