Gymnastics is a major sport in the Olympics and this is probably the reason many young girls develop an interest in the sport. Young girls as young as five can sign up for gymnastics. Most of them reach their peak performance at the age of 16 and retire in their early twenties.
Regular training is necessary if one wants to succeed in the sport. Most gymnasts train on average about 40 hours a week although this highly depends on the individual’s ability to push their bodies’ flexibility and strength to the limits. The age of the gymnast also matters since young athletes need fewer training hours.
This elite sport is also a good form of exercise and some people join the sport just to get fit. Many female gymnasts say that gymnastics has helped them develop self-awareness, confidence, and discipline. However, behind all the triumphs and achievements lies a secret world, which we will unravel for you.
15 A Number Of Female Gymnasts Have No Interest In Competing In The Olympics
A number of people join gymnastics just for the fun of it. These types of people are adrenaline junkies. They like the thrill of someone thrusting them into the air and that is just about it for them, while others do it as a form of exercise to keep fit. Therefore, this lot does not necessarily obsess over making it to the Olympics and performing at a professional level as revealed by BuzzFeed.
14 Female Gymnasts Cannot Afford To Pick Their Wedgie
A number of people pick their wedgies whenever they get one even if they are in public. Gymnasts are bound to get wedgies given the design of their leotards. However, they do not have permission to pick them when performing. A gymnast can lose marks for doing so. Therefore, to avoid this, Gymnast Nastia Liukin tells people that they normally use an adhesive spray to keep the leotard in place.
13 Innerwear And Brassiere’s Straps Sticking Out Of The Leotard Can Cost A Gymnast
Speaking of deductions of marks, if the judges spot any inner wear sticking out of a gymnast’s leotard this automatically counts as grounds for deduction of marks as pointed out by BuzzFeed. No matter how great the performance is, judges will penalize for such mistakes. Seems like the adhesive spray has many functions including holding brassiere straps in place.
12 Peeing A Little When Tumbling Is Common
Tumbling in gymnastics involves performing flips, somersaults, handstands, handsprings, and tucks without using any props. A few female gymnasts have admitted that they have peed a little while tumbling. It is common for female gymnasts to pee when doing strenuous activities; however, it is advisable to check this with a doctor in order to rule any underlying issues as stated on gymnastcare.com.
11 Some Stunts Terrify Them
No matter how long one has been in gymnastics, the thought of performing some stunts is daunting. There is always the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. Balance beams and any stunts that propel gymnasts in midair are the riskiest. Gymnasts say that they can tell when they are about to have a nasty fall while still in the air. According to a few gymnasts interviewed by BuzzFeed the balance beam is the most terrifying.
10 They Are Self Conscious About Their Costumes
The leotards female gymnasts perform in are not exactly the most decent of clothing. During training, gymnasts can wear shorts or tights underneath the leotard but when performing, female gymnasts should strictly be in leotards, according to Livestrong. Although the cut of the leotard helps them perform with ease, most are still self-conscious about showing too much skin.
9 Some Gymnasts Starve Themselves To Remain Slim
Jennifer Sey, a retired US champion gymnast reveals in her memoir that eating disorders are common among female gymnasts. There is a lot of pressure to stay slim so most of them go on strict diets and avoid drinks and snacks that have sugar in them. Jenner says she would fill a coffee cup with spit every night to reduce a bit of water weight.
8 Their Coaches Sometimes Crash Their Self-esteem
Gymnastic coaches humiliate female gymnasts for putting on even as little as 2lb as reported by the guardian. They have no problem with yelling at young girls in public and calling them all sorts of names. Surprisingly the moms to these girls will sit quietly in the crowd and do nothing about the name-calling. Therefore, most have learned to develop thick skins at a young age so that they do not crumble under pressure.
7 The Sport Can Damage The Body Permanently
Female gymnasts have on average about 40 hours a week of training. They are well aware of the risks of the sport. One mistake or misstep in gymnastics can cause serious injuries to a person. Some of the most common gymnastic injuries include fractures, ligament tears, sprains, tissue injuries, and cartilage damage. Injuries incurred sometimes do not heal well and can cause complications later in life as pointed out by sbs.com.
6 Gymnastics Stunts Growth
According to businessinsider, intense training, poor diets, and injuries can cause great effects in female gymnasts. Some fractures can cause bones not to grow depending on how they occur. So factoring how young the girl is, the combination of all the above can contribute to a small body stature. However, people with shorter limbs are much better at performing tricky rotations so this probably why the sport attracts small-bodied people.
5 The Sport Affects Monthly Menses
Exercise is important to the body; however, too much of it can have the opposite effect on the human body. As stated on health24.com, female athletes can develop a condition known as amenorrhea or simply missed periods, when they engage in too many physical activities. The monthly menses can even disappear for a while and come back when the woman retires from gymnastics.
4 Female Gymnasts Are Constantly On Treatment
Most gymnasts have suffered injuries either when training or performing. The injuries range from bruises, sprains, broken bones, and sometimes concussions, as explained by livestrong.com. Gymnasts can manage minor bumps and sprains using ice. Creams can soothe rips on palms and wrists after a long day of practice. Nursing wounds for these people is the order of the day.
3 They Also Have Beauty Tricks
Have you ever wondered how female gymnasts always have perfect makeup and hair? US Olympic champion, Mariya Koroleva revealed to Vogue that they use specific products that sweat cannot smudge. Female gymnasts also apply lots of gel or gelatin into their hair to keep it in place and use pins to hold it securely. Loose hair can be a nightmare during performance especially if caught on something.
2 Some Are Superstitious
Female gymnasts should not wear jewelry during performances. Having accessories on is a matter of personal preference but the simple they keep it the better for them. A pair of earrings is usually enough; any other jewelry can interfere with their performance. According to today.com, although most gymnasts wear jewelry as a form of expression, a few believe that the pieces are good luck charms.
1 Coaches Are Suspected Of Behaving Inappropriately Towards Young Pubescent Female Athletes
According to the Guardian, some people have accused coaches of behaving inappropriately towards the young girls who participate in the sport. The authorities involved in the sport have sadly chosen to remain silent about the subject and have hardly done anything to help or put measures to protect the innocent young girls.
Sources: guardian.com, today.com, Vogue.com, livestrong.com, health24.com, businessinsider.com, sbs.com, gymnastcare.com, people.com, buzzfeed.com