September 19 is National Gymnastics Day, an unofficial celebration of the graceful sport that tests everything from physical strength to agility to balance and coordination.
National Gymnastics Day was created in 1998 in the United States as a way to promote the sport among young people and to honor the sportspeople, coaches, and clubs who have kept the gymnastic tradition alive and thriving for centuries.
Originated in Greece
Gymnastics originated as an activity in ancient Greece. Then, it was a way for people to exercise, stay healthy and remain ready for battle. It wasn't until the late 19th century that it took on a competitive note. In 1881 the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) was created in Liège, Belgium. In 1896, men's gymnastics was part of the first modern Olympics held in Athens, Greece. The Amsterdam Olympics in 1928 featured the first female gymnastics events.
Today, gymnastics is a popular sport around the world with many prestigious competitions and contests held throughout the year.
How to Celebrate?
Attend a gymnastic meet or competition in your area and cheer for your favorite gymnast and team.
If you have always wanted to learn gymnastics, today is the perfect reason to begin. Find yourself a club or a gym and get started!
Encourage the children and young adults in your life to consider gymnastics as a sport to pursue. Who knows, they may soon become Olympic level gymnasts.
Know a gymnast? Send them a message or a note letting them know that you are proud of them and their achievements.
Did You Know...
…that Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, a German educator is considered the Father of Gymnastics? He was responsible for promoting some of the most popular gymnastic routines today. These include the parallel bar and the ring.