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1968 Compulsories MAG Olympics

1968: The Men’s Compulsories Competition in Mexico City

When we think of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, we think of the questionable judging in women’s gymnastics and the political protest of Věra Čáslavská on the podium after the floor finals.

Over the years, a piece of FIG gossip has been forgotten. It happened after the men’s compulsories. Arthur Gander, the FIG president, threatened to ban a coach from competition.

So, let’s dive into the men’s compulsories, eh?

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 22: Mikhail Voronin of the Soviet Union competes in the Rings of the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Team Compulsory during the Mexico City Summer Olympic Games at the National Auditorium on October 22, 1968 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
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1968 Compulsories Olympics WAG

1968: The Women’s Compulsory Routines for the Olympics

Let’s take a look at the compulsories for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, including the piano sheet music!

The bar routine turned out to be brutal. Every single team had at least one gymnast score in the 8s (or lower) — even the Soviet Union.

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1968 Compulsories MAG

1968: The Men’s Compulsory Routines for the Olympics

Compulsories: The bane of some gymnasts’ existence, and the bane of some judges’ existence, as well.

Let’s take a look at the 1968 men’s compulsories and how they were judged…

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1966 Compulsories WAG

1966: Women’s Compulsories for the World Championships

If you’re reading this website, you probably have an affinity for compulsory routines. Heck, if you’re like me, you might even want to learn these old routines.

Well, I have good news for you: I have the written text for the women’s compulsories at the 1966 World Championships in Dortmund.

Here ya go…

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1964 Compulsories MAG WAG

1964: Compulsories for the Tokyo Olympics

In the “Chalk Talk” section of the 1963 September issue of Modern Gymnast, Kurt Bächler, who became known as the “Father of Trampolining,” wrote an entire plan for the Americans to succeed in Tokyo.

One of the items: “They develop the compulsory routines to 9.5 average (which in my opinion is definitely possible

9.5 average? Simple enough, right?

Umm… Have you seen the 1964 compulsories? They were called “perhaps the most difficult ever.” (Modern Gymnast, March 1964)

(To be fair, if you asked any elite gymnast who competed compulsories, they would tell you that their quad’s compulsories were the most challenging.)