Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Zoe from AL. Zoe Wonders, “Who made up gymnastics ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Zoe!

If you’re going to play soccer, you need a soccer ball. If you’re going to play baseball, you need a bat and a glove. What if you have rings, uneven bars, a pommel horse, and a balance beam? Which sport are you taking part in? Gymnastics, of course!

Do you watch the Olympics? If so, you already know there are many gymnastics events. Watching people do exciting flips and other daring feats can be a lot of fun. It draws the interest of many fans.

How old is the sport of gymnastics? Some experts believe it goes back over 4,000 years! They think gymnastics likely grew from exercises ancient Greeks used to practice mounting and dismounting horses.

Modern gymnastics began in Germany in the 1800s. Experts credit two physical education experts: Johann Freidrich GutsMuths and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. Men competed in gymnastics as early as the first modern Olympic games in 1896. Women first competed in Olympic gymnastics in Amsterdam in 1928.

Just how many gymnastics events are there in the Olympics? Over a dozen! Many use a special piece of equipment, known as an apparatus. This can include the balance beam, uneven bars, parallel bars, pommel horse, and rings.

Gymnastic routines require a wide range of abilities and skills. A well-rounded gymnast will have exceptional strength, balance, and flexibility. Agility, power, coordination, and control are also important in this sport. Gymnasts need both discipline and self-confidence to be successful.

In gymnastics, people can compete as both individuals and as a team. When gymnasts perform, they do so one at a time. Each person’s score is then added up with those of their teammates. This makes a total score for the team.

How are gymnastics routines scored? It starts with a base score (usually a 10). From there, points are taken away based on several factors. This includes the difficulty of the routine and how many mistakes are made. Judges also look at the overall artistry of the routine. A gymnast who pulls off a difficult, artistic routine flawlessly would receive a perfect score of 10.

Have you ever tried gymnastics? Maybe you can already pull off the perfect backflip. If not, it’s still a fun sport to watch. Millions tune in for Olympic gymnastics every four years. It’s one of the most-watched events in the games!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Pick up a rope and get ready to pull. Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is all about a friendly war!