Gymnastics has been included at every Olympics since the first official Games in 1896. Artistic events have been involved in every edition, with the rhythmic competition not introduced until 1984. Trampolining was the latest addition to the programme in 2000.

Women were not admitted until 1928 with the all-round team event, and not until 1952 did the same individual events that we see today start to become a central part of the sport at the Olympics.

Rules & format

Artistic: Competitors perform pre-rehearsed routines and are marked by two teams of judges; one panel marking difficulty and the other judging execution, both out of ten. The scores are added together to make an athletes' total score. This applies for team and all-around events, when there are multiple athletes and pieces of apparatus.

The men compete on six pieces of apparatus; vault, parallel bars, pommel horse, horizontal bar, rings and floor, while the women's compete on four including vault, beam, uneven parallel bars and floor.

Rhythmic: Purely a women's sport, routines are performed to music for between 90 seconds and two-and-a-half minutes, often including pieces of apparatus. These include hoop, ball, rope, ribbon and clubs; each of which assist the artistry and grace used by the athlete.

Epke Zonderland
Dutchman Epke Zonderland will be aiming to recapture his high bar gold from London Getty

Trampolining: Athletes are required to perform routines while continuously on the move which include forward, backward and twisting movements. The more difficult and better executed the performance then the more points they will be awarded.

Key terms

Dismount: The finishing manoeuvre at the end of a routine on an apparatus which involves the athlete landing often following a final somersault. Judges can deduct as much as a point for a poor touchdown, or ratchet up the execution score if performed successfully and without a step to regain balance.

Gymnastic is set to be a visual delight at Rio 2016 Getty

Amplitude: The key aspect of a performance in the eyes of the judges. The word refers to the height, distance and extension of an athlete during their performance, with their score increasing in line with the difficulty.

Athlete to watch

Arthur Zanetti: After becoming the first Brazilian Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics in London, all eyes are on the 26-year-old to see if he can repeat his heroics in Rio. Time has caught up with Zanetti since London and he did not figure in the rings final at the World Championships in Glasgow, but there is no reason why he cannot rouse himself one last time. He ranks alongside Neymar as the biggest home-based athlete at the Games.

Arena Olimpica do Rio
The Arena Olimpica do Rio will host the gymnastics events after a successful test event in April Getty


Arena Olimpica do Rio: The 14,981-seater venue will play host to all the gymnastic events this year. Often used to host converts from Queen, Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts and National Basketball Association matches, there should be no problem generating an atmosphere. It will also host the wheelchair basketball event in the Paralympics.



Saturday 6 August: Men's qualification – Subdivision one, two and three

Sunday 7 August: Women's qualification - Subdivision one, two, three, four, five

Monday 8 August: Men's team final

Tuesday 10 August: Women's team final

Wednesday 11 August: Women's individual all-around final

Sunday 14 August: Men's floor final, women's vault final, men's pommel horse final, women's uneven bars final

Monday 15 August: Men's rings final, women's beam final, men's vault final

Tuesday 16 August: Men's parallel bars finals, women's floor final, men's high bar final

Max Whitlock
Whitlock will be among Britain's strongest medal hopes after winning three golds at the Commonwealth Games Getty


Friday 12 August: Women's qualification first, second routine and final

Saturday 13 August: Men's qualification first, second routine and final


Friday 19 August: Individual all around qualification – rotation one, two, three and four

Saturday 20 August: Group qualification rotation one and two, individual all around final

Sunday 21 August: Group final rotation one and two