The grace, strength and skill of Olympic gymnasts have been astonishing audiences since the Games in Ancient Greece, where Gymnastics was regarded as the perfect symmetry between mind and body.
Artistic Gymnastics, the best known of the three Gymnastics disciplines, is always among the most popular competitions at the Games.
For Great Britain the sport has traditionally offered little cause for celebration but the 2008 Olympics was a watershed, with Louis Smith’s bronze in the pommel horse the country’s first since the women’s team finished third in 1928.
Three-time world champion Beth Tweddle will have two shots at an elusive Team GB Olympic medal (floor, uneven bars), while Beijing pommel horse bronze medallist Louis Smith and team-mates Daniel Keatings and Daniel Purvis are all contenders.
Smith and Tweddle offer Britain’s best chance of sealing a first-ever Olympic gymnastics gold.
Japan’s Kohei Uchimura is the man to beat, having won an unprecedented three consecutive all-around world titles.
All-around champion Nastia Liukin will not defend her title but the American is back from a two-year break to target the beam, bar and team events. Teenage world champion Jordyn Wieber of the USA is all-around favourite.
The term Artistic Gymnastics was first used in the 19th century.
Between its appearance at the Athens 1896 Games and the 1920s, the event evolved into what we recognise as modern Gymnastics.
The men’s individual apparatus and Team competitions first appeared at the Paris 1924 Games; a women’s Team event was introduced in 1928, with women’s individual apparatus competitions added in 1952.
The Olympic Artistic Gymnastics competition has four phases: qualification, team final, individual all-around final and individual apparatus finals.
All gymnasts compete in the qualifications. The best eight teams then go through to the Team final, where three team members compete on each apparatus. Teams are ranked on their total score.
The best 24 individual gymnasts (maximum two from each country) go through to the Individual All-Around final, where gymnasts compete on all apparatus. The best eight gymnasts on each apparatus (maximum two from each country) go through to the individual apparatus finals.
Each apparatus is judged for difficulty and execution, with the highest scoring athlete the winner.
Gymnastics will feature prominently during the BBC’s network TV coverage.
Action from the qualifiers and team events in the first week will be shown during BBC One and BBC Three’s daytime programmes, as will the individual events in the second week of the Games.
You can choose to watch every session live in its entirety via one of the 24 dedicated BBC Olympics channels.BBC TV Commentators: Matt Baker, Mitch Fenner, Christine Still BBC Radio Commentators: Alison Mitchell, Craig Heap Full list of BBC Olympics TV presenters/commentators – CLICK HERE
11:00 – Men’s Qualification – Subdivision 1 LIVE BBC Olympics 11 – 10.55am-1.30pm BBC Three – 11.00am-2.00pm 15:30 – Men’s Qualification -Subdivision 2 LIVE BBC Olympics 1 – 3.25pm-6.10pm 20:00 – Men’s Qualification – Subdivision 3 LIVE BBC Olympics 6 – 7.55pm-10.30pm BBC Three – 8.00pm-10.15pm . . 09:30 – Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 1 11:15 – Women’s Qualification -Subdivision 2 LIVE BBC Olympics 9 – 9.25am-12.50pm 14:45 – Womens Qualification – Subdivision 3 16:30 – Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 4 LIVE BBC Olympics 9 – 2.40pm-6.05pm 20:00 – Womens Qualification – Subdivision 5 LIVE BBC Olympics 9 – 7.55pm-9.35pm . . 16:30 – Men’s Team – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 2 – 4.25pm-7.30pm . . 16:30 – Women’s Team – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 18 – 4.25pm-6.55pm . . 16:30 – Men’s Individual All-Around – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 5 – 4.25pm-7.25pm . . 16:30 – Women’s Individual All-Around – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 5 – 4.25pm-6.50pm . . 14:00 – Men’s Floor Exercise – FINAL 14:50 – Women’s Vault – FINAL 15:41 – Men’s Pommel Horse – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 4 – 1.55pm-4.40pm . . 14:00 – Men’s Rings – FINAL 14:50 – Women’s Unven Bars – FINAL 15:41 – Men’s Vault – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 1 – 1.55pm-4.40pm . . 14:00 – Men’s Parrallel Bars – FINAL 14:47 – Women’s Beam – FINAL 15:37 – Men’s Horizontal Bar – FINAL 16:23 – Women’s Floor Exercise – FINAL LIVE BBC Olympics 1 – 1.55pm-5.25pm . .