Special Olympics Gymnastics combines strength, flexibility and artistry. Competitions are offered for men in the artistic events and women in artistic and rhythmic events. Male and female gymnasts may compete in all events offered (All Around) or may be specialists, competing in one, two, or more (but not all) events.

Special Olympics athletes also can participate in Special Olympics Unified Sports® events. Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition.

In Unified Sports gymnastics, all rules and regulations apply equally to athletes and partners, who compete in the same compulsory and optional routines. They are judged individually, then the scores are added together for each event for a combined total score for that event. Unified Sports teams may be specialists or all-arounders; awards are based on the combined scores of the athletes and partners.

As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.

Gymnastics Facts:
Special Olympics Gymnastics was first included in 1972 as an official sport in the Third International Special Olympics World Summer Games, when 11 athletes competed in tumbling and free exercise routines.
At the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, 177 artistic gymnasts and 53 rhythmic gymnasts from 51 Programs competed.
As of the 2005 Special Olympics Athlete Participation Report, 34,519 Special Olympics athletes compete in gymnastics.

Gymnastics Events

Artistic Gymnastics:

Mixed Gender Events (Level A only; local & regional /national competition only)

Wide Beam
Floor Exercise
All Around (combination of all four event scores)
Unified Sports: Vaulting, Wide Beam, Floor Exercise, Tumbling, All Around

Men's Events

Floor Exercise
Pommel Horse
Parallel Bars
Horizontal Bar
All Around (combination of all six event scores)
Unified Sports: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vaulting, Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bar, All Around

Women's Events

Uneven Bars
Balance Beam
Floor Exercise
All Around (combination of all four event scores)
Unified Sports: Vaulting, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, Floor Exercise, All Around

Rhythmic Gymnastics (Level I and up for females only):

Rhythmic Floor Exercise
All Around
Unified Sports: Rhythmic Floor Exercise, Hoop, Ball, Ribbon, All Around
Group Routines (Female only, may be done in addition to individual routines)
       •  Floor Exercise (beginner, 4-6 gymnasts)
       •  Ribbon (intermediate, 4 gymnasts)
       •  Unified Sports Group (beginner, 4-6 gymnasts)
       •  Unified Sports Group Ribbon (intermediate, 4 gymnasts

The following events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:

Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual Compulsory routines, performed while sitting (mixed gender): Rope, Hoop, Ball, Ribbon, All Around
Above listed routines, performed while standing