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27 Oct 2006
IOC News , museum-news-articles

Preview of the exhibition 125 Years of Gymnastics

On Tuesday 24 October, the Olympic Museum celebrated the preview of a new temporary exhibition entitled 125 Years of Gymnastics, in the presence of Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), André Gueisbuhler, secretary general, the IOC Sports Director, Kelly Fairweather, and their guests. The exhibition has been mounted by the Olympic Museum to mark the FIG’s 125th anniversary.
Historical overview
125 Years of Gymnastics retraces the history of this sport and addresses topical issues. Already recognised in ancient times, the health-giving and educational values of physical education were reasserted in the 1700s. Over time, gymnastics was first adopted by certain political regimes to generate a sense of nationalism among the people of their country. Gymnastics then became a highly-prized subject in the world of culture and art.
The FIG today
The Federation manages five disciplines (artistic, acrobatic and rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and aerobics), and has close links with the Olympic Movement. Included on the Olympic programme since the Games were revived in 1896, there are three gymnastics disciplines in the Games today: artistic gymnastics, since 1924; rhythmic gymnastics, which became an Olympic discipline at the Los Angeles Games in 1984; and trampoline, whose Olympic debut came in Sydney in 2000.
The FIG, the oldest Olympic sports federation
Created on 23 January 1881 at a meeting in Liège (Belgium) of representatives of the Belgian, French and Dutch gymnastics federations, the International Gymnastics Federation is the oldest of all the international federations of Olympic sports. In 1897, the FIG had 17 national federations grouped together within the European Gymnastics Federation. When the USA became a member in 1921, the name was changed to International Gymnastics Federation. Today, the FIG has no fewer than 130 member national federations.
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