Strict Rules All Olympic Gymnasts Are Forced To Follow

Strict Rules All Olympic Gymnasts Are Forced To Follow


Olympic gymnasts perform stunning feats that
push the limits of physical ability, impress judges, and thrill spectators. But in order to be one of the world’s top
athletes, they must embody an extraordinary level of talent and discipline. Think you could measure up? These are the strict rules all Olympic gymnasts
have to follow. In competitive gymnastics, certain dangerous
moves are formally banned, and performing one during a routine can mean big trouble. That’s why competitors must stay away from
moves like the Thomas Salto roll-out, which left Elena Mukhina paralyzed when she landed
on her chin before the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Athletes are also banned from the Korbut flip,
which was performed by Olga Korbut at the 1972 Olympics. According to Flo Gymnastics, “The skill is executed by standing on the
high bar facing the low bar, jumping backward into the air, doing a backflip, re-grabbing
the bar, and ultimately swinging towards the low bar.” In 2016, Olympic gymnast Dipa Karmakar talked
to BBC News about attempting another extreme move, the Produnova, which Seventeen called
a, quote, “stunt…so terrifying that only a handful of athletes have ever attempted
it.” Karmakar herself even admitted that with one
wrong move, she “could die on the spot.” Meanwhile, gold medalist Simone Biles stays
away from these banned moves altogether, as she proved in an interview with Vogue. “Can you show me an illegal gymnastics move?” “I don’t think so, because it’s illegal, so
I’ve never tried one.” Even if they’re executing incredibly difficult
routines, Olympic-level gymnasts have to look like they’re always in control. “Little Simone, she just flailed her body
in the air and just thought it was the greatest thing of all time.” If they make a mistake, no matter how devastating,
they’re not supposed to react to it. It’s even part of the scoring. USA Gymnastics lays out the expectations put
on the athletes, explaining that routines must be… “Executed with proper rhythm and harmony…[The]
best routines…will look near-effortless to the spectators…Athletes must maintain
energy and excellence, which can be challenging because of the demanding content in the exercise.” “You really have to push through those hard
times.” While it’s a necessary skill, it isn’t one
that all competitors seem to be able to achieve. Nancy Armour wrote for USA Today, “There are plenty of gymnasts who try hard
skills and look as if they’re inches away from death while doing them. Go watch some of the scary crashes on vault
and you’ll see exactly what I mean.” Or maybe just try to do a somersault and see
how hard it is. A gymnast’s routine obviously needs to impress,
if the athlete has any hope of walking away with a medal. And that won’t happen if the judges already
know what they’re about to see. Not to mention the fact that it would be disastrous
if another competitor stole your best moves. Remember the chaotic circumstances in Bring
It On when routines were stolen? It didn’t go well. “Oh, right, it’s guilt money. You pay our way in and you sleep better at
night knowing how your whole world is based on one big old fat lie.” That’s precisely why gymnasts are expected
to keep their routines a highly guarded secret. Those who let them slip not only risk losing
a competition, they’re also breaking the rules. The International Gymnastics Federation addresses
the tight-lipped nature of training in its Code of Conduct, stating that competitors
are expected to, quote, “respect the confidentiality of information between athletes and coaches.” Need proof? When Simone Biles took a
Vogue magazine camera along to her Olympic training facility in 2016, she was asked: “Do you keep your routines a secret before
a meet?” “Yes.” “Do you think I could stick around and watch
your routine?” “No, because it’s a secret.” There’s a reason why Olympic gymnasts always
look pristinely put together when they’re competing. According to Vogue, USA Gymnastics states
that women gymnasts must be “well groomed in [their] appearance.” Vogue explains that spectators can expect
to see… “A parade of tight braids, buns, and ponytails,
for example, because hair has to be pulled away from the face lest it obstruct views
of an apparatus necessary for spotting precarious landings, although there’s no quantitative
limit spelled out on bobby pins and elastic bands.” “I have to, like, take Advil or something
because I get a headache, like a hair headache, because I pull my hair back so tight.” As for jewelry, competitors are only allowed
to wear a single pair of stud earrings. Olympic Gold Medalist, Nastia Liukin, explained
to People magazine, “You can only wear earrings. Nothing else. It’s not allowed, but also you don’t want
to get in the way of anything that you’re doing. Like when you’re on the uneven bars you can’t
be wearing a ring because you just can’t.” When it comes to whether you’re allowed to
wear polish on your fingernails, Liukin said, “It depends on what your head coach likes,
and what they don’t like…I think something subtle was always good. I always had like a light, light, light pink
on my toenails and then nothing really on my [fingernails].” Olympians are free to express their personal
style in their daily lives, but when they’re competing, their outfits must follow specific
guidelines and be approved by their coaches. According to USA Gymnastics, rules for leos
include: “Leotards which have some part in lace will
have to be lined…The neckline of the front and back of the leotard must be proper…Dance
leotards with narrow straps are not allowed. [And] the cut of the leotard at the top of
the legs must not go beyond the fold of the crotch.” And if you’ve ever wondered why each member
of a team is dressed the same, there’s a rule for that, too, stating: “leotards for group
gymnasts must be identical in shape and color.” For her part, Nastia Liukin told People magazine, “Before every competition we do a little fashion
show in the hotel or the [Olympic] Village and it’s with [Coach Marta Karolyi and all
of our coaches. We all have to try on the same leotard and
we march down the hallways as if it’s a runway and that’s how we figure out which leotard
we’re wearing for the team competition.” “Sometimes impressing Marta is more nerve-wracking
than impressing the judges.” While it might be one of the most annoying
things that could ever happen to a person wearing a leotard, Olympic gymnasts absolutely
cannot fix their wedgies. This is another time when the custom-designed
leotards come in very handy. Kelly McKeown, chief design officer for GK
Elite, the company that’s been making Olympic leotards since 2006, explained that each leotard
is custom-made to fit the athlete’s body, which prevents it from shifting when the gymnasts
perform their body-manipulating moves. She told Cosmo, “The athletes have such extreme body types
that there is no way we could just cut a standard pattern. For example, Simone Biles is incredibly muscular,
but she’s a mighty little package, so she has big shoulders and very little hips, so
literally every part of her leotard is custom.” “It definitely takes a lot to put together
a leotard.” Nastia Liukin revealed some pro-tips on how
to really land the leo look, telling People magazine, “You’re not allowed to [pick a wedgie] or
else you get deducted. So a lot of people use like sticky spray [called
Tuf-Skin] for your butt so your leotard doesn’t move. I’ve never used it and I know most of the
girls don’t really use it…but if you have a fall and your leotard goes up your butt,
you don’t want to fix it in the middle of your routine. Off to the side, it’s totally fine.” The next time you get an inconvenient wedgie,
imagine what it must be like to get one while competing for an Olympic medal. If a gymnast disagrees with their score, they
can submit an appeal. But it might end up costing them quite a bit
of money. “Of course, every time you compete it’s always
nerve-racking and you always wanna do your best.” As far as the established process for an appeal
goes, the gymnast’s coach must first head to the judge’s table before the next routine
starts to verbally state their objection. They then need to submit the appeal in writing
within four minutes. The coach also has to hand over $300. To challenge a second score during the same
event, it will put them back $500, and a third challenge costs $1,000. If they win the appeal, they get the money
back. But if they lose, they also lose the money. The Wall Street Journal explains that the
charges are intended to “discourage frivolous objections.” But if you’re wondering if challenges ever
happen, they do. According to NBC Olympics, “In the beam final at the 2012 London Olympics,
[Aly] Raisman’s initial score left her in fourth place, just one-tenth of a point away
from the podium…[Raisman’s] revised score flashed above the arena, they accepted her
appeal, and she was now tied for third with Romania’s Catalina Ponor. But since her execution score [which remained
unchanged] was higher, she won the tiebreaker and the medal.” Olympic gymnasts may be expected to be fierce
when it comes to competing, but they’re also required to maintain good behavior, on and
off the floor. “You don’t have to stay a victim. You can speak up, and if you don’t like something,
then change it.” The International Gymnastics Federation code
of conduct states, “[Athletes must] maintain and enhance the
dignity and self-esteem of others by demonstrating respect for others, at all times, regardless
of race, color, gender…orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national
or social origin, property, birth, disability, physical attributes, and athletic ability
or other status.” When it comes to Team USA, Aly Raisman told
E! News in 2016, “People don’t always believe it, but we know
that we’re happy, we know that we love each other so that’s all that matters.” It sounds like bullying isn’t a worry for
these Team USA Olympic gymnasts. To be the best of the best, you have to train
hard. Really hard. Former Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told
HuffPost, “There are no limits on your dreams if you’re
willing to work for it.” “You can always point your toe more, you can
always straighten your leg, you can always you know, stick a landing better.” That’s why, according to the International
Gymnastics Federation, those young athletes who aspire to be future Olympians must agree
to, quote, “follow a mutually agreed upon training plan which is compatible with education,
career, and family life.” “Just focus on the ride, the enjoyment, the
passion, and the love.” In order to earn her spot on Team USA, Simone
Biles trained around 32 hours a week, telling Women’s Health about her daily routine in
2016: “In the morning, I usually get up between
7:40 a.m. and 7:45 a.m…I have practice from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. [I then] head back to the
gym from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and usually have more routines. After that, I either have therapy at the gym
or at home…and do it all again the next day.” “Years from now, 20 years from now maybe. I never wanna think back and say, ‘Wow, I
wish I would have tried.'” Revealing how she also cross-trains to achieve
results, she added, “Last year…we swam twice a week, almost
a mile! I swore I was going to drown, it was so hard,
and then we would run. And the year before that we would bike 10
miles outside once a week. If we didn’t bike, we would run a mile before
practice, and as soon as we finished the mile we’d have to go inside and do a beam routine. My legs were absolute Jell-O.” Along with putting in plenty of practice to
keep their bodies in tip-top shape, Olympic gymnasts also have to carefully monitor what
they put in their bodies. In order to get the fuel that they need to
perform, elite gymnasts follow a strict diet. “I think that gymnastics is such a challenging
sport. And I think that you have to be a little bit
crazy in order to do gymnastics.” But these athletes are certainly up to the
challenge. In 2019, Simone Biles shared with Well and
Good what a typical daily menu looks like for her, revealing that she relies on foods
that are high in protein and fiber and low in carbs. The world-class competitor starts her day
with a protein waffle and some fruit for breakfast, followed by chicken and veggies for lunch. For dinner, she’ll do fish, veggies and rice,
and if she gets munchy between meals, she’ll maybe crack open a bag of plantain chips. “My cheat day for food would definitely be
pizza.” The International Gymnastics Federation also
ensures that its athletes steer clear of performance-enhancing drugs and skip alcohol as well as other “illegal
substances.” These athletes are heroes and role models
to many up and comers, afterall. “These things don’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of work to get to where we
are. But with practice and confidence, you can
accomplish your dreams, too.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
favorite celebs are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

33 thoughts on “Strict Rules All Olympic Gymnasts Are Forced To Follow

  1. Simone, a talented awesome young lady. Good head on her shoulders.๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ

  2. Oh I get it ๐Ÿค”if it involves Simone a Black women Best gymnast in the world ๐Ÿค”Then Her points are taken down๐Ÿค”

  3. Ugh! Lol Every gymnast gets a wedgy in competition….I had such a big ass the tough skin spray hardly ever worked for me ๐Ÿ˜‚

  4. Why couldn't you show the Korbit flip? Those who don't know Gymnastics could profit from it since they would SEE how dangerous it it. Especially since you showed the rollout.

  5. I had many winds knocked out of me from the horse in high school P. E.
    Much respect for these ladies…. To watch them is truly mesmerizing!! I can watch gymnastics & skating for hours!

  6. Competitive gymnastics is a lifestyle. They have dedicated their childhoods up into their adulthood training to be the best of the best, and truly it has paid off. Simone is rewriting the history of gymnastics, and it will be enjoyable seeing upcoming gymnasts try to meet or overcome the standard Simone is setting now.

  7. Something that I feel is under looked is how strong they are. They are all just so strong. The men are always built big time as well. The training and work they put into this is awesome. Respect for all of them.

  8. This is evidently targeted to people who don't really follow the sport. These "strict rules" are just part of the sport much like rules of football or basketball. Every sport has rules. Hell, every job I've ever had involved "strict rules." As a fan of the sport, this video seems silly.

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