I was just curious as to what the age minimum was for women's gymnastics for the Olympics. I thought it was 16 but not sure if they have changed that or intend to change it for future Olympics.
It is 15 turning 16 in the calendar year.... For instance Ivana Hong is currently 15 yrs old & turns 16 in Deceember. She is considered age eligible for the 2008 Olympics.
** FIG president, Bruno Grandi, has been trying to raise the min age for years & is again trying to raise the age minimum for ALL international competitions following the 2008 Olympics... which would mean a competitor would most likely need to be 17 yrs of age to compete gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics & beyond.... I personally feel it is somewhat discriminating...
Thanks for the response! That is kind of discriminating because there is such a wide window (4 years) between olympics. If they do raise it to 17, then that actually benefits my DD because she will be 17 for the Summer 2012 Olympics and probably at her peak. LOL--I laugh because my daughter is 9 now and she is just starting gymnastics so the idea of olympics is so far reaching because you are probably more likely to win the Lottery before you make it to the olympics...But it is always fun to dream!
I think that we all have crazy dreams and if that is your dd's dream for now - then just wonderful.... I know many young gymnasts that aspire for the Olympics, and why shouldn't they? We should teach our kids they can do ANYTHING!
We only have one president every 4 years, but that does not stop kids from dreaming that someday they will be president LOL!
I think the idea behind raising the minimum age is not to be discriminatory but rather to ease the pressure of such intense training on such young girls. By raising the age limit, girls do not have to be ready to compete internationally by the age of 11 or 12. They can grow and mature and compete with they're more ready to handle it emotionally and psychologically.
I don't think it is a bad idea to raise the minimum age as long as they still cater for younger gymnasts to have plenty of opportunities to compete at the appropriate standard.
One of the idea's of raising the age is to reward those who stick with the sport longer. It is quite sad to see many of those olympic champions devote their whole childhoods to gymnastics make the olympics at age 15 and then drop out of the sport altogether as they have achieved their ultimate goal. One of the problems we face in gymnastics is keeping older gymnasts in the sport. many gymnasts have a wealth of 5-10 year olds but only 1 or 2 teenagers and adults.
The age of athletes at an international level seems to be increasing anyway. In the 2000 olympics the two oldest gymnasts were 21, by 2004 there were gymnasts competing in their mid twenties and even early 30's which is not uncommon at all now on the international circut. This is because I believe first of all the skills in womens gymnastics are changing, there is less emphasis on lightness and flexibility and women seem to be adopting many of the skills men do. These skills require incredible strength and 15 and 16 year olds are far from their peak of strength. Females should continue to get stronger through out their 20's and hit peak strength around the age of 30, and should be able to maintain peak strength for quite a while after that. Very few do because they drop out of sport and look to other interests and pursuits. Also there is more money in gymnastics now, in the past teens had to quit gymnastics by about age 20 to get a job and support themselves, training full time was simply not an option. This is all changing. Our sport needs to change with the times.
However, this will all only work if the younger teens have high level competitive opportunities and the chance to compete against the best juniors in the world. This needs to be paid strong attention too because these juniors will be the future of our sport.