Olympic Sports >> Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic Gymnastics

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  • Women (2 events) : individual all-around, group


  • Individual event: 26 gymnasts take part in the qualifying round, 10 advance to the final.
  • Group event (teams of 6, though only 5 compete): 14 teams take part in the qualifying round, 8 advance to the final.



Gymnastics is practiced in ancient Greece, India, Persia and China.

Mid-19th century

Popular and regional dances in central Europe, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg are the forerunners of rhythmic gymnastics.


Gymnastics features at the first modern Olympic Games, associated with athletics events.


The first rhythmic gymnastics competitions are held in eastern and northern Europe.


The first rhythmic gymnastics world championships are held in Budapest.


Rhythmic gymnastics makes its Olympic debut in Los Angeles.


Maria Petrova (Bulgaria)

All-around world champion in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and team gold medallist in 1993. She twice suffered Olympic disappointment, finishing 5th in 1992 and 1996. In Barcelona, she was penalised in the hoop event because of a problem with her outfit. She also won 2 European titles in 1992 and 1994.

Evgenia Kanaeva (Russia)

The only rhythmic gymnast to have won consecutive Olympic gold medals in the individual all-around event, in 2008 and 2012. The Russian also boasts an impressive collection of world (17) and European (13) titles.

Alina Kabaeva (Russia)

One of the rare rhythmic gymnasts to have taken gold in the individual all-around event at the Olympics (2004), the world championships (1999, 2003) and the European championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004). A remarkable medal collection, including Olympic gold and bronze, 14 world championship medals (9 gold) and 20 European championship medals (15 gold).

Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.