Pan Am Gymnastics Rhythmic

Gymnastics - Rhythmic

Gymnastics - Rhythmic

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Sport Overview

In the hands of athletes who combine elements of dance, artistic gymnastics and acrobatics, the apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics is in constant motion. The hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon — the names of both the apparatus and the individual events – come to life as the gymnasts propel themselves through movements that vary in shape, amplitude, direction, plane and speed. Rhythmic gymnastics is one of only two Pan American sports in which only women compete. Individuals compete in four routines, with each routine incorporating a different apparatus. Groups of five athletes compete in two routines — one routine with five of the same apparatus and one routine with a combination of two of the same apparatus and three of another. Both individuals and groups vie for a medal in each apparatus and in the all-around competition.

A dominant force in the sport, the U. S. placed first with three gold medals at the Guadalajara 2011 Pan Am Games. Brazil finished second and Mexico third with two gold. Canada’s two silver and two bronze garnered fourth place.

Patricia Bezzoubenko, who won five gold medals for Canada at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, has her sights set on competing in Toronto in 2015.


Rhythmic gymnastics first appeared in the 1800s and included elementary choreography. It slowly grew until the first experimental competitions occurred in Europe in the 1930s, and in 1964 the first world championships took place in Budapest, Hungary.

How it works

Rhythmic gymnastics combines artistry and sport and is one of only two Pan American sports in which only women compete.

Competitors perform short routines to music on a 13 metre x 13 metre carpeted performance area.

During the exercise, the apparatus must be in constant motion: movements with great variety of shape, amplitude, direction, plane and speed should be performed.

The apparatus must be handled with as much variety as possible. It may not be used as a decoration; the relationship between gymnast and apparatus must be constant.


Boomerang roll/throw
A rolling or throwing manoeuvre performed such that the apparatus returns to the gymnast after rolling or throwing.

Retro roll
A roll of the hoop in any direction which returns to the gymnast.

A rippling movement of the ribbon.

Additional Information

Additional Information