Gymnastics is a sport that requires balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest and abdominal muscle groups. Alertness, precision, daring, self-confidence and self-discipline are mental traits that can also be developed through gymnastics. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.
Most forms of competitive gymnastics events are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). Each country has its own national governing body (BIW) affiliated to FIG. Competitive artistic gymnastics is the best known of the gymnastic events. It typically involves the women's events of vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise as well as the men's events of floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.
is a sport in which single competitors or pairs, trios or even more (generally five) manipulate one or two apparatuses: rope
. Rhythmic Gymnastics is a sport that combines elements of ballet
, theatrical dance
, and apparatus manipulation. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, as awarded by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pivots, flexibility, apparatus handling, and artistic effect.
Anastasia Valeryevna "Nastia" Liukin
(born October 30, 1989) is an American retired artistic gymnast
. She was the 2008 Summer Olympics
individual all-around champion. She was also the 2005 and 2007 World Champion
on the balance beam
and the 2005 World Champion on the uneven bars
. With nine World Championships medals, seven of them individual, Liukin is tied with Shannon Miller
as having won the most World Championship medals of any American gymnast in history.
The daughter of two former Soviet champion gymnasts, Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin and World Champion rhythmic gymnast Anna Kotchneva, Nastia Liukin was born in Moscow and moved to the United States as a young child. She began gymnastics after spending time in the gym while her parents coached. Liukin was coached by her father at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, her family's gymnastics club in Plano, Texas.
Liukin became a member of the U.S. junior national team when she was 12 years old and won the national all-around title at the age of 13. She was the all-around silver medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games. She was a four-time all-around U.S. national champion, winning twice as a junior and twice as a senior.
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