Gymnastics have been very much a part of both the modern and ancient Olympic games.
In the early Olympics, gymnastics was thought to be "the perfect symmetry between mind and body," according to London2012.com, the official London 2012 website.
"Gymnastics" is said to come from the Greek word "gymnos", meaning "naked", according to the Team GB website, official home of the British Olympic Association.
The word "gymnasium" is also derived from the Greek word. Athletes would go to compete and exercise in a gymnasium, as well as to learn literature, music and philosophy.
A gymnast must have great balance, control and strength. When participating in the vault competition, she must be swift.
Precision is a must. Every movement must be perfect in placement, timing and poise.
Women's artistic gymnastics is often called simply women's gymnastics. It's been very popular at the Olympics.
In these modern times, the equipment used in women artistic gymnastics are the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor mat during floor exercise.
The vault is the target as the gymnast takes off running. and jumps on a springboard. From the springboard, she shoots over the four-foot tall vault.
On the uneven bars, the gymnast performs specific movements. She must swing, release and perform pirouettes.
Then she must dismount from two horizontal bars that are of different heights, one at five feet and the other at eight feet.
At the balance beam, the gymnast runs through a carefully choreographed set of not more than 90 seconds duration.
She must mount, leap and jump. She will flip, turn and then dismount onto a padded four foot high beam.
The floor exercise is a routine that is choreographed and performed to music, in no longer than 90 seconds, on a 40 foot by 40 foot floor mat.
Each routine is unique but must contain certain movements. Dance moves, jumps, leaps and tumbling passes are required.
Women compete in artistic gymnastics, as do men. While men have performed artistic gymnastics since the 1896 Olympic Games, the women's gymnastic team event was not held until 1928.