London 2012 Guide to…Trampolining


Despite being invented in the 1930s, trampolining was only introduced to the Olympics in 2000.

Trampolinists require a combination of strength, timing and grace all matched to perfection to claim a medal.

Style, difficulty and finishing are assessed by a panel of nine judges.

  • Trampolining in London

There are just two events – one each for men and women so the pressure is on right from the off.

And finally…

Look out for: someone hitting the ceiling. You never know.

Not to be confused with: bouncing around in the back garden.

Useless but informative fact: Trampolines in London will be 5.05m long, 2.91m wide and 1.15m high.

Trampolining in two words: great fun.

Trampolining takes places on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th August at the North Greenwich Arena (the o2).



London 2012 Guide to…Rhythmic Gymnastics

RHYTHMIC Gymnastics is one of only two sports (the other being synchronised swimming) which are female-only.

It combines gymnastics, ballet, dance and the use of apparatus in a short routine set to music.

  • Scoring

After several changes to they system, the scoring is now back to a 30-point system so the judges can place greater emphasis on the sport’s three main elements: technical ability, artistic effect and execution.

  • Youth are best

Due to the needs of the sport – flexibility and excellent strength-to-weight ratio, younger girls are the most likely to succeed.

For instance, in the Russian team that won in 2008, five of the six girls were teenagers.

  • Russian domination

The Russians have a strong record, having not failed to earn a medal since 1984.

  • Rhythmic Gymnastics in London

Rhythmic Gymnastics is being held at Wembley Arena, in front of a 6,000 capacity crowd.

96 women are scheduled to be competing.

There are two events – the individual and the team competitions.

And finally…

Look out for: hoops and ribbons. All part of the act.

Not to be confused with: a rigorous fitness session.

Useless but informative fact: Three ironing boards and irons will be used during the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.

Rhythmic Gymnastics in two words: elegant dancing.

Rhythmic Gymnastics starts on Thursday 9th August and ends on Sunday 12th at Wembley Arena.

London 2012 Guide to…Artistic Gymnastics



ARTISTIC Gymnastics is exactly how it sounds. Far more than just a few somersaults, gymnasts turn the sport in to a real art form using strength, flexibility and skill.

Athletes compete for the best all-round, individual and team performances on each piece of apparatus.

Men tackle the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and the horizontal bar.

Women perform on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor.

  • Get down on the floor

Floor exercises are performed on a sprung floor – this helps the gymnast’s routine, giving bounce and protection when landing. The exercises last for approximately 90 seconds, and are accompanied with music.

  • The pommel horse

Only used (or should it be rode) by men, this involves single and double leg work.

Points are deducted for a variety of reasons, including not passing through the handstand position when dismounting, not using all sections of the horse and pausing.

  • The rings

Like the horse, only used by men, the rings require considerable upper body strength. Exercises consist of swing, strength and hold elements, with the execution of these determining an overall score.

  • The best of the rest

The vault is tackled by men and women, with speed and technique key to the performance.

Parallel bars are used by men only, and typical routines see a variety of swinging skills.

You’ll be able to see a mixture of multiple twists and flips on the horizontal bar and spins on the uneven bars.

The balance beam brings out the best in the gymnasts, with extremely diffIcUlt moves attempted.

  • Artistic Gymnastics in London

The North Greenwich Arena (the O2) is hosting the Artistic Gymnastic events.

196 men and women will be competing in 14 different disciplines.

And finally…

Look out for: the tears. Unfortunately, there’s always one gymnast whose routine does not quite turn out as they had hoped. And that’s their Olympic dreams shattered.

Not to be confused with: ballet, and nightclubs. Dancing (ish) and music. Why not?

Useless but informative fact: Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto broke his kneecap during his floor routine, but went on to perform on the pommel horse and rings to help his country secure gold at the Montreal Games in 1976.

Artistic Gymnastics in two words: power, poise.

Artistic Gymnastics start on Saturday 28th July and end on Tuesday 7th August.