25 GIFs That Prove Women’s Gymnastics Is The Work Of Superhumans
How… What… OMG INCREDIBLE.
1. Elizabeth Seitz, Germany
What she is doing: A Def (she lets go of the bar, does a flip with 1.5 twists, and then catches again).
She placed 10th in the All-Around at the 2012 Olympics. Here is her uneven bar routine.
2. Carly Patterson, USA
NBC / Via mashable.com
What she is doing: Round-off back handspring to a double Arabian (an Arabian is a back flip with a 1/2 twist). All on four inches of wood. This dismount is actually named after her because she was the first to successfully perform it in a major competition.
Carly won the All-Around at the 2004 Olympic Games. This is her balance beam routine!
3. Peng Peng Lee, Canada
What she is doing: A back handspring into a double back flip in the pike position (the pike position is essentially the same position as when you sit with your legs straight out in front of you).
Peng Peng was a member of the team that granted Canada a spot in the 2012 Olympics but was unable to compete in London due to a severe knee injury. She is set to compete for UCLA once her ACL is completely healed. Here is her floor routine from 2012.
4. Anna Pavlova, Russia
NBC / Via gymnasticscoaching.com
What she is doing: A switch ring leap. This leap is particularly difficult because the gymnast has to take their eyes off of the beam.
Anna won two bronze medals at the 2004 Olympics. Here is her balance beam routine from 2008 (she placed fourth)!
5. Nastia Liukin, USA
What she is doing: Round-off into a layout with 2.5 twists.
Nastia was the All-Around champion at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. This is her balance beam routine from that competition!
6. Aliya Mustafina, Russia
What she is doing: A double back flip with 1.5 twists. This dismount is called the Mustafina.
Aliya won the gold medal on the uneven bars at the 2012 Olympics. Here is her routine!
7. Svetlana Khorkina, Russia
What she is doing: A cartwheel into a gainer back layout with two twists.
Sveta ruled gymnastics for years, but never managed to win the Olympic All-Around gold. Here is her beam routine from her final Olympics.
8. Lauren Mitchell, Australia
What she is doing: A double back flip in the pike position with a full twist in the first flip.
Lauren was the 2010 World Champion on the floor exercise. Here is her champion routine!
9. Ksenia Afansyeva, Russia
What she is doing: an standing Arabian.
Ksenia was a member of the Russian team at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Here is her beam routine from the qualification round in London!
10. Gabby Douglas, USA
What she is doing: A full (back flip with a complete twist). Remember, this is on FOUR INCHES OF WOOD.
Gabby made history as the first black All-Around champion at the 2012 Olympics! Here is her beam routine from the team final competition.
11. Georgia Dabritz, USA
What she is doing: A Comaneci (she swings upward, does a front flip in a straddle position, and catches the bar again). This release is named after gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci.
Georgia currently competes for The University of Utah. Here is one of her bar routines!
12. Anna Dementyeva, Russia
What she is doing: Two whips (basically back handsprings minus the hands) into back handspring into a layout with three twists.
Anna was an alternate to the Russian team at the London Olympics and the 2011 European champion. Here is one of her floor routines!
13. Steliana Nistor, Romania
NBC / Via starkidmaroney.tumblr.com
What she is doing: A front flip (take-off from one foot) into a back tuck to a Korbut flip.
Steliana was fifth in the All-Around at the 2008 Olympics. Here is her performing on beam during the team competition.
14. Rheagan Courville, USA
What she is doing: A Yurchenko vault (meaning she does a back handspring onto the table) with a full twist.Believe it or not, this is one of the easier vaults that high level gymnasts do.
Rheagan competes for LSU. Here she is on vault!
15. Lou Nina, China
What she is doing: A punch front pike flip (meaning she jumps straight into the flip [the punch] and her legs are straight, like she’s going to touch her toes [pike]) and then a back handspring step-out into a Korbut flip.
Lou Nina made her international debut in 2012, when she won silver on beam at the Pacific Rim Championships.
16. McKayla Maroney, USA
What she is doing: Two back handsprings into a layout with 3.5 twists. That’s not easy, folks!
McKayla is a member of the gold-medal winning Fierce Five from 2012. Here is her floor routine from the USA National Championships that year!
17. Kylee Botterman Kolarik, USA
What she is doing: a double layout with a full twist.
Kylee competed for the University of Michigan. Here is one of her uneven bar routines!
18. Alicia Sacramone, USA
What she is doing: a back handspring into a double Arabian.
Alicia was a member of the 2008 Olympic team and the 2010 World vault champion. She is the most decorated American gymnast in the history of the World Championships. Here is her floor routine from 2008!
19. Larisa Iordache, Romania
What she is doing: A back handspring step-out into a full-twisting back flip.
Larisa competed at the 2012 Olympics, and is the current silver medalist in the All-Around at the European Championships. Here is her balance beam routine from 2013.
20. Émilie Le Pennec, France
NBC / Via gifsartist.tumblr.com
What she is doing: A Chusovitina (a “hop” with a full twist) into a Def.
Émilie was the first French gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal- she won gold on the uneven bars at the 2004 Olympics!
21. Deng Linlin, China
NBC / Via gymnasts391.blogspot.com
What she is doing: Two backhandsprings into a back layout into a Korbut flip.
Deng Linlin (who is only 4’9”!) won gold on the balance beam at the London Olympics. Here is that winning routine!
22. Shawn Johnson, USA
What she is doing: A Silivas (two back flips with two twists).
Shawn was the silver medalist in the All-Around at the Beijing Olympics. She was the American national champion that same year. Here is the floor routine pictured in the GIF!
23. Yelena Produnova, Russia
What she is doing: A Produnova: she pushes off the vault with a front handspring and does two front flips. This is the hardest vault performed by female gymnasts. VERY few people have successfully competed it.
Yelena was a key member of the Russian gymnastics team for many years, but never snagged an individual Olympic medal. Here is the video of her legendary vault.
24. Aly Raisman, USA
NBC / Via mashable.com
What she is doing: Round-off to a layout with 1.5 twists into round-off back handspring to a double Arabian into a punch front layout. This tumbling pass is INSANE.
She won a gold medal for floor exercise with this routine, and made history as the first American woman to do so.
25. Beth Tweddle, Great Britain
NBC / Via weheartit.com
What she is doing: A Tweddle (a toe-on [the toes are on the bar before the release is performed] Tkatchev [when the gymnast releases the bar while swinging upward, crosses it, and catches again] with a half twist) to an Ezhova (the gymnast lets go of the high bar while swinging backwards between the two bars and makes a 1/2 turn to catch the lower bar) to a Van Leeuwen (toe-on release with a 1/2 turn).
Beth was a fan favorite for years before finally winning her well deserved bronze medal on bars at the London Olympics. Her routine is INSANE.
BONUS: Epke Zonderland, Netherlands
NBC / Via rebloggy.com
What he is doing: A triple release combination- A Cassina (full-twisting layout) into a Kovacs (back tuck) into a Kolman (full-twisting tuck).
Epke won the gold medal for the high bar in 2012. How could he not???