Gymnastics has been an event at the Olympics since the reincarnation of the games in 1896, although for the first few decades only men were allowed to compete. That’s not surprising given the state of the world back then, but when you learn tidbits of information like that it’s still surprising and alarming to hear. Regardless, every four years young men and women from around the world compete in the Olympic Games against one another, with the top three finishers in each event taking home a medal. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that right after the Olympics finishes is when gymnastics are the most popular around the world. Young kids have just finished watching the Olympics, so it’s not surprising that many of them decide at that point that they want to be a gymnast.
Of course, over time that passion for the sport wears off. That’s why over the course of the next few years until the Olympics start up again, enrollments in gymnastics classes start to decrease again. Then the Olympics happen, popularity surges, and the cycle starts all over again. However, that’s not been what’s been happening in the US. The popularity of gymnastics training surged after the Olympics, but it’s only gone up since then, or at the very least stayed pat. A lot of why this has happened has to do with the ways in which society elevates athletes. Like it or not, athletes are put up on a pedestal in American society, so it’s not surprising that many kids in the country dream of being professional athletes. These athletes make a lot of money, have a lot of fame, and are well-known by people all around the world. When kids watch the Olympics and see how the athletes are treated, they want to be like that. This societal view of sports has only become more intense over the past couple of decades, so it’s not surprising in the least that more and more kids want to become athletes.
That being said, the popularity of gymnastics in the US over the last year or so has just as much to do with how society treats athletes as it does with how well the women’s gymnastic team performed in the last Olympics. The US national team was dominant, winning multiple gold medals, including Simone Biles who absolutely dominated the sport. When a person from your country absolutely dominates the rest of the world in an athletic competition, kids tend to want to imitate that person. It’s not that different from when Michael Jordan burst onto the scene in the NBA. He brought a whole new generation of athletes to the sport, invigorating the game of basketball and bringing it to the world state. That’s precisely what the US national team for gymnastics, and more specifically Simone Biles, have done for the sport of gymnastics.
If your child keeps asking you if they can enroll in a gymnastics class, make sure you choose a great facility like World Champions Centre for them to do that. It’s the home of Simone Biles, and it has one of the best training facilities you’ll find in the country.