Early Chinese gymnastics

Found this great documentary-style video of Chinese gymnastics circa 1965, with French commentary and piano music that reminds one of women’s floor music before 1979.

The balletic origins of the sport are on full display here; even the men’s floor exercise has wonderful dance-like sequences.

What surprised me most  were the performances on uneven bars and how for the most part, the moves were done with a great deal of continuity, a rarity for the time period.

The ABC-produced video “Gymnastics’ Greatest Stars,” made in 1990, gives a lot of credit to American Doris Fuchs-Brause for being the first to have truly “swung bars,” which she did during her highly controversial performance at the 1966 World Championships in Dortmund, Germany.

But with the exception of pausing to pose before the dismount sequence, the Chinese look close to doing much the same thing. Seems that like Fuchs-Brause, they were ahead of their time, even at the dawn of the modern gymnastics era.

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2 Responses to “Early Chinese gymnastics”

  1. Gymnastics Coaching » Blog Archive » video - Soviet Gymnastics 50s-80s Says:

    […] Gymblog linked to a video of Chinese gymnastics circa 1965, long before they entered international […]

  2. Denise Helmkay Says:

    Doris Fuchs and I were teammates of the Flint Olympian Club in Flint, Michgian in the 60’s. Finding these video tapes brings back a lot of memories. Thank You.

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