Is Gymnastics A Sport?

Kayla Davito, Reporter

Gymnastics, like dance or cheer, is often questioned for whether or not it is a sport. Many argue that since it is practiced year-round, it is not. They say that it can be considered an art or a hobby, but not a sport. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that it is. 

Merriam-Webster defines a sport as something “… in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.” This statement can overlap with Merriam-Webster’s definition of gymnastics: “physical exercise designed to develop strength and coordination.” 

Gymnasts are required to do skills that involve balance, strength, coordination, gracefulness and flexibility- all why trying to make it look effortless. Hours of work every day, week and month are put in, in order to perform to their best ability in competitions.

Competitions are another reason gymnastics is a sport. Most other sports, such as soccer or basketball, have competitions or games where individuals and/or teams play against each other in order to win. Gymnasts compete for both individual and team scores. In gymnastics, all gymnasts start with the same score and points are taken away every time a skill is not performed correctly.

Also related to competitions, gymnastics is in the Olympics, an international sporting event. People from all over the world come to watch and participate. Gymnastics would not be in the Olympics if it was not a sport. In fact, gymnastics has been in the Olympics since the first ‘modern’ one was held in 1896. 

Overall, there are many reasons that prove that gymnastics is a sport. There is a lot of athletic ability involved, as well as the goal of executing it gracefully. While it is practiced year-round, an argument made by those who disagree, there is a distinct competition season as well as a World’s competition and a spot in the Olympics.