This graceful form of gymnastics began as a means of movement and expression at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. An exclusively feminine discipline, rhythmic gymnastics is halfway between art and sport.
Its remote origins are difficult to define. Let us simply remember that it was already practised in the last century under the guise of group gymnastics with a trace of elementary choreography. In the course of time, its structures were developed, refined and oriented towards an unique and exclusive form of sports competition.
As a sport, Rhythmic Gymnastics started in the former Soviet Union during the 1940's. It was recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation in 1961. World Championships have been conducted since 1963 (Budapest, Hungary).
The first Olympic Games to feature rhythmic gymnastics was in 1984 in Los Angeles, USA, with British Columbian Lori Fung being the first gymnast in the History of RG to take an Olympic title (Los Angeles).
Today, rhythmic gymnastics is witnessing a spectacularly rapid development with young people and an impressive echo from the media and the public. The reasons for this growing success are simple. Rhythmics puts expressive young women on stage, artists who are exhausted simultaneously by the technical handling of the apparatus as well as the perfect mastery of body expression.
There are four exercises competed on a carpet that is 13 m x 13 m. Each exercise is accompanied by music. The apparatus are the hoop, the ball, the rope, the clubs and the ribbon.
British Columbia Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics Federation (BCRSGF), 604-333-3485, bcrsgf@rhythmicsBC.com, www.rhythmicsbc.com