Gymnastics

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ng physique and all-round ability.

The ... ... are usually the first of the events since they give competitors a chance to warm up with movements not requiring tremendous strength. The sportswoman aims to impress the judges with a sequence of..., ..., and together with the elements of acrobatics. Strength movements should be performed slowly and static position must be held for at least two seconds ... should be done at shoulder height.

The ... ... is the simplest of all the events. Men vault over the horse lengthways, passing first over the “croup” and then the “neck”. Women vault sideways, putting their hands on the middle of the horse which is not as high as for men.

Women use the ... ... . Emphasis is on the suspension and momentary bracing positions and the female gymnast must change bars by turning or executing elegant movements.

The ... is used only by women in competitions. It was originally envisaged as a method for women to demonstrate ... but in recent years many of the skills of the floor exercises have been introduced. Many female competitors use ballet, which is very close to many of the ... movements.

Ex. 5. Explain the terms used in gymnastics:

the side horse vault

the uneven parallel bars

the balance beam

cartwheel

back handspring

somersault

running steps

skips

Ex. 6. Name the

womens gymnastics competition events

exercises on the uneven parallel bars

exercises on the beam

floor exercises for women.

Ex. 7. Say what you know about:

the order of performing the events in a womens gymnastics competition

the exercises on apparatus for women

all-around competition for women

Ex. 8. Speak on the topic:

the apparatus for womens gymnastics competitions

the programme for the womens gymnastic competitions

gymnast performance on the balance beam (uneven bars, side horse).

Task VII. Read the text about the gymnastics competitions. Find out how the winner is determined

 

Gymnastics competition

Judging

Judging involves the assessment of a gymnastic performance by someone supposedly well-versed in the detailed and rather complex methods of evaluation.

Gymnastics has matured into a highly technical sport, and the evaluation of routines has become a complicated process.

Judges of gymnastics competitions carefully watch each compulsory routine for such flaws as falls, improper body position, omissions, slowness, and stops. In the optional routines, the judges base their scores on difficulty, form, and the combination of movements.

A perfect score for any event is 10.00. The judges subtract points or tenths of a point for each flaw. In optional routines, the judges may award bonus points for especially difficult or original movement.

In mens competition, five judges, including one called a head or superior judge, score the performance of each gymnast. In most cases, the score of the head judge is not used. Instead, the head judge takes the scores of the other judges and eliminates the highest and lowest ones. The head judge computes an athletes final score by averaging the two middle scores. If the difference between the two middle scores exceeds a certain range, the head of judges own score is used as a guide in adjusting the final score. At an international competition, each teams top five individual all-around scores are added together for the team score.

In womens competition, there are seven judges, including a head judge. The highest and lowest scores of the six other judges are dropped and the remaining four are averaged to produce the final score.

Speech Exercises

Ex. 1. Answer the following questions:

  1. What does judging involve?
  2. What do the judges of gymnastics competitions watch for?
  3. What do the judges of gymnastics competitions base their scores on?
  4. Which is a perfect score for any gymnastics event?
  5. What do the judges subtract points or tenths of a point for?
  6. What actions do the judges award bonus points for?
  7. How many judges are there in the mens gymnastics competitions?
  8. What are the head judges duties?
  9. How does a gymnast get an average mark (score)?
  10. When is the head judges own score used?
  11. How is the team score determined at the international competition?
  12. How many judges are there in the womens competition?
  13. How is the final score in the womens gymnastics competition produced?

Ex. 2. Say what instruction you would give to a would-be judge.

Ex. 3. Say what you know about:

judges in gymnastics competitions

the evaluation of routines

possibility for former gymnasts to become judges

 

Task VIII. a) Skim the text to understand what it is about. b) Time your reading. Its good if you can read this text for 75 words per minute.

 

Gymnasts And Their Training

The ideal body type for gymnastics is short and light. Gymnastics skills require great strength and flexibility, as well as balance and explosive power. Ages and sizes of competitive gymnasts have been decreasing progressively as their selection and training has become more demanding. The two top female gymnasts in the 1992 Olympics were 15 years old, 137centimetres (4 feet, 6 inches) tall, and one weighed 31.7 kilograms (70pounds) and the other 31.3 kilograms (69 pounds).

To produce the strength, flexibility, and power essential for competitive gymnastics requires long hours of strenuous practice, and training procedures are designed to develop not only these physical qualities but also the great courage required to perform intrinsically dangerous movements (1).

In socialist societies such as the former Soviet Union, other Eastern European countries, China, and Cuba, young children selected on the basis of body type and other physical attributes were given opportunities to develop into competitive gymnasts through participation in state-supported training facilities (2) and special schools. In countries such as the United States, the development of young gymnasts has been carried out in schools and organisations such as Turners, Sokols, and YMCAs. However, the intensity and level of work required to produce elite gymnasts today is available only in private training facilities, usually paid for by parents. Recognising the financial cost of these private facilities, USA Gymnastics initiated a programme of stipends paid to a small number of the most talented young gymnasts to offset their training costs. Male gymnasts tend to maintain and even improve performances beyond the peak age for female gymnasts, and their training may continue during college years with the support of athletic scholarships. Collegiate gymnastics is also available for females, but today college-age women are generally considered too old to be involved in the highest level of the sport. One of the most important contributions to the development of gymnastics in the United States was the establishment of the USGF Junior Olympics programme, which provides compulsory exercises and guidelines for several levels of age-group competition for both girls and boys.

Notes

  1. intrinsically dangerous movements связанные с большим риском
  2. state-supported training facilities государственные спортивные базы

с) Answer the following questions. If necessary, look through the text again:

  1. What is the ideal body type for a gymnast?
  2. What quality do gymnastics skills require?
  3. Why have age and size of competitive gymnasts been decreasing?
  4. How are the strength, flexibility, and power, essential for competitive gymnastics, produced?
  5. How were young gymnasts selected in socialist societies?
  6. How are young gymnasts selected in the USA?
  7. Where are elite gymnasts trained in the USA?
  8. What was one of the most important contributions to the development of gymnastics in the United States?
  9. What does the USYF Junior Olympic programme provide?

 

Task IX. Read the text without the help of a dictionary

 

History

The origin of gymnastics can be traced back to the ancient civilisations of China, Persia, India and Greece.

Most of the current competitive exercises may be attributed to the German, Jahn, but the ancient civilisations practised the sport. The Chinese had mass displays of free exercises, as they do at present, and both the Persians and the Indians followed a strict code of physical exercise. But it was the Greeks who really started to modernise the sport.

The distinguished physician, Galen, provided some of the earliest literature on the sport and showed how knowledgeable the Greeks were about its fundamentals. Activities like rope-climbing were included in the ancient Olympic Games and, with the rise of the Roman Empire, the Greek method of physical culture spread.

Among the events the Romans introduced was the wooden horse on which they practised mounting and dismounting. Most of the exercises were used for military preparation, but when the ancient Olympic Games were abolished the sport fell into decline for nearly 1,500 years.

It was revived initially by men like Muth, Salzman, and Ling.
(1) Muths book, “Gymnastics for Youth”, is the first major work on the subject, and Ling, a Swede, regulated a series of free exercises which a number of cou