The 2016 Rio Olympics is here and just like everybody else, we’re very excited to watch extraordinary gymnasts from all over the world compete with each other for the coveted gold medals.
Artistic gymnastics has been a part of the Olympics since its inception in 1896. “With performances of strength and acrobatic skills…the gymnastics on display…will have you reassessing what you thought the human body was capable of.” says the official website for the Rio Olympics. We couldn’t agree more!
With all the buzz surrounding this year’s Games, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the competition and the athletes you should keep your eye on.
Rio Olympics 2016
Artistic Gymnastics Fast Facts
Dates and Venue
- August 5th: Opening Ceremony
- August 6-11, 14-16 – Competition dates
- Barra Olympic Park – Venue of artistic gymnastics competition
By the Numbers
- 196: Number of athletes
- 60: Number of countries who will participate in artistic gymnastics
- 41: The age of Oksana Chusovotina. She is set to be the oldest Olympic female gymnast in history.
- 16: Number of artistic gymnastics events
- 16 to 20 years old: The average age range of gymnasts
- 15: The age of Senna Deriks (Belgium), making her the youngest gymnast in this year’s Olympics
- 1: The number of female gymnasts (Larissa Miller) Australia will send after failing to qualify at the Rio test event
Gymnasts To Watch Out For
The US women’s gymnastics team is sure to dominate the Olympics, sports insiders agree. Here are the gymnasts that will certainly catch your eye.
Simone BilesThere’s no stopping Simone Biles. With three world titles, ten world gold medals, and three US national titles, Biles is proving to be everyone’s best bet to win the gold for the US team. It’s also worth noting that she works the beam and vault like no other.
Gabby DouglasWho can forget her impressive performance in the 2012 London Olympics? Ever since returning to competition last year, Douglas has competed in the 2015 world’s (placing 2nd) and won the American Cup. Her exceptional bar routine makes her an asset to the US women’s gymnastics team.
Laurie HernandezThe Rio Olympics will be Hernandez’s big ‘debut’. The 2015 junior national champion has captivated people with her grace and strength that seems beyond her young age. Hernandez is the youngest member of team USA.
Madison KocianAs the current World Bars Champion, Kocian is an asset to the team because of its weakness on the event. Kocian fell off the beam during the trials but her solid performance on the bars was nothing short of amazing.
Chris BrooksBrooks has often been designated as an alternate but his impressive performance in the Olympic trials helped him clinch a spot in the US men’s gymnastics team. Brooks had posted the best scores on the parallel and high bars.
Jake DaltonSince the 2012 London Olympics, Dalton has won three world medals. This marks his return to gymnastics as he was out of competition last year due to an injury. Dalton’s stellar performance on vault and floor is a preview of what you can expect in Rio.
Alex NaddourServing as an alternate in London, this is Naddour’s first time to make the US men’s gymnastics team. He is considered the best American gymnast in the pommel vault, an event that seems to be the American gymnastic team’s weakness.
Sam MikulakMikulak, a four-time national champion, had some of the highest scores in the Olympic trials. Even though he made some errors, he still proved to be good enough to make his second appearance in the Olympic team.
Dannell LeyvaLeyva replaced John Orozco after the latter had to withdraw because of an ACL injury. Leyva is the all-around bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics. While he struggled at the nationals, Leyva finished second on parallel bars and third on the high bar during the Olympics trials.
With such an impressive lineup of events and athletes, we can’t wait for the Olympics to begin!