U.S. Gymnastics Embraces Athleticism Over Perfection

U.S. Gymnastics Embraces Athleticism Over Perfection

The Huffington Post just posted an article about the U.S. gymnastics team headed to the Olympics in Rio later this month. In light of recent rule changes for the scoring of gymnastics routines, it has become nearly impossible to earn a perfect score of 10 for execution. The last time a gymnast was awarded a score of 10 was in 1976.

Because it has now become accepted that a perfect score of 10 is practically unattainable, gymnasts are attempting much more difficult routines. This has helped to propel the sport further and encourage innovation rather than attempting an easy routine without any mistakes. This change has helped U.S. gymnasts become quite dominant in the sport because they are receiving more credit for their innovation and athleticism. A willingness to take more of a risk in a routine and perhaps not perfect each element absolutely perfectly can translate to much more difficult and crowd pleasing skills to be performed.

Some people argue that the new system is less marketable to viewers because they have a harder time appreciating why athletes do not receive perfect scores. However, the new system is not complicated and does encourage more risks, which is exciting to watch.

Simone Biles is currently favored to win in Rio and is highly praised for the difficulty of all of her routines. Even with a minor flaw here and there, her daredevil moves should receive plenty of credit in difficult scores as the U.S. team hopes for plenty of gold.