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Summer Olympics: Ten Terms for New or Casual Rhythmic Gymnastics Fans

Yahoo Contributor Network

Rhythmic gymnastics is among the less commonly seen gymnastics disciplines contested at the Olympic Games. Below are a few terms to help the casual fan better comprehend and enjoy the rhythmic gymnastics events during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Body: The term "body" refers to the wider part of a club.

Boomerang Throw

: Boomerang throws are used when the gymnast is competing with a ribbon. In this throw, the gymnast throws the stick, which is also called a cane. The gymnast then grabs the ribbon and yanks back to make the cane return to her.


: Each gymnast uses two two clubs, which are about 40 centimeters in length. The clubs must weigh at least 150 grams and are made out of plastic or wood.

Double Stag

: A double stag is a leap in which the gymnast jumps with a straight back and bends her knees while holding her legs apart.

FIG: FIG stands for the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, or the International Federation of Gymnastics. The organization is the international governing body for rhythmic, artistic and trampoline gymnastics.


: The term "head" refers to the ball on the end of a club. It sits on the opposite end from the body and must be less than 30 millimeters in size.

Plane: A plane is an area where moves are performed. There are four types of planes -- diagonal, frontal, horizontal and lateral -- and each plane is conceptual rather than literal.


: A ribbon is a piece of equipment used by a gymnast during routines. The ribbon is seven meters long and made from satin. The ribbon is attached to a cane, which is about 60 centimeters in length.


: A rope is another piece of equipment used by the gymnast. It is made from hemp, and the sizes and lengths of the rope vary depending on the height and size of the gymnast.


: "Snake" is a term used to refer to the movement of a ribbon when it ripples and wiggles like a snake.

Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.

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