There are many complicated tricks and flips that competitive female gymnasts do to impress the judges and entertain the audience. Not only do they have to be incredibly talented, but they have to be willing to follow very strict rules to prevent from getting deductions and getting the highest score possible.
1. Always Seem to be in Control
No matter how complicated the gymnast’s routine is they must look completely in control at all times. Even if they make a big mistake in their routine they have to make it looked planned, they can't react at all no matter how upset about the mess up they are.
2. They Must Stick to Grooming Regulations
Gymnasts are always seen in tight buns, braids, and ponytails while competing but there are reasons for that. According to Vogue their hair must be pulled away from their face to spot important landings. Gymnasts are also not allowed to wear any jewelry except for one single pair of stud earrings. Also they are only be allowed to wear subtle nail polishes.
3. Approved Leotards
Gymnasts have a Big say in the leotards they compete in but the leotards have to be approved by their coaches and they have to follow certain guidelines. For example the neckline of the front and back must be no further than sternum length. Parts of the leotards that have lace must be lined. The straps of the leotards must be wide unlike strappy dance leotards.
4. Must Keep Routines Secret
Gymnasts obviously want to impress the judges while competing but that won’t happen if the people that are scoring you know what's going to happen in your routine and there is a good chance that you won’t walk away with any medals. That’s why keeping your routines secret is very important. Another obvious reason to keep your routine secret is so competitors don’t steal key components of your routine.
5. Clean Diet and Lifestyle
While having extremely long practices multiple times a week gymnasts also have to have a healthy and clean diet. While they need enough nutrients and energy for their body to train and perform their complex routines they can’t have too many calories according to Mashed. The average calorie intake for an olympic gymnast is 2000-2500 a day.
6. Undergarments Can’t be Seen
Although while competing gymnasts must wear tight leotards, there are no undergarments allowed to be shown even if it is an accident. No underwear or bra straps can be shown some gymnasts even get custom made undergarments to wear while competing. There is a good chance that if a bra strap shows while competing the gymnast might get a deduction.
7. Paying to Appeal their Score
If the gymnast or coach disagrees with the score they are given they can submit and appeal. Now along with the appeal comes with quite a bit of money. If a competitor wants to recount their score, their coach must go up to the judges table before the next routine, then they must write an appeal within four minutes. After they write the appeal the coach has to give the judges $300 if they want another appeal they must pay $500 and if they get a third appeal they have to pay $1000. If they win the appeal they get the money back but if they lose they lose the money.
8. Can’t Fix a Wedgie
When in the middle of a routine gymnasts may not pick any wedgies. That’s where custom made leotards come in. Every gymnast have very different body types so a certain leotard cut may not fit everyone on the team. If gymnasts pick wedgie when doing a routine they will get deducted. To prevent wedgies many gymnasts use sticky spray so the leotard does not slide.
9. Practice makes Perfect
In order to be the very best you must train hard. Most gymnasts train multiple times a day every day. Simone Biles said they had to do cross training they swam over a mile and then they had to either bike or run and that was all before they went to the gym. Most gymnasts practice everyday.
10. Pointing Toes
Gymnasts get 1/10 of a point deducted from their score every time a judge sees an unpointed toe. That is why gymnasts must always remember to keep their toes pointed on vault, bars, beam, and floor. The gymnast could have a nearly perfect routine but if they don’t point their toes one time their score can drop.
Story by Rowen-Dollar Reynolds