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1988 Floor Music Olympics WAG

1988: The Floor Music of the Seoul Olympics

Major Theme: Very, very, very 1980s.

Here are a few examples:

  • “Sixty-Second Sonata” (1980)
  • Montage of music from Cats, which debuted in 1981
  • “Axel F” from Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  • “Bullish” (1984)
  • “Electric Kingdom” (1984)
  • “One Night in Bangkok” (1984)
  • Montage of music from Rocky IV (1985)
  • “True Faith” by New Order (1987)
  • “Macho Mozart” (1987)
19 Sep 1988: Phoebe Mills does her floor exercise during the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Mandatory Credit: Billy Strickland /Allsport
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1984 Floor Music Olympics WAG

1984: The Floor Music of the Los Angeles Olympics

A big theme in 1984: American movies

Given that Los Angeles is the heart of American cinema, it makes sense. There were songs from movies like Night Shift, Indiana Jones, Rocky, and James Bond.

Another theme: Americana.

In addition to the emphasis on American TV and films, there were plenty of other American moments — from Szabo’s routine to “Hooked on America” to Wu’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” to Bileck’s “Rodeo” montage. (Rodeo is a ballet composed by American composer Aaron Copland.) 

Ecaterina Szabo, Romania, gold medallist (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)
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1996 Floor Music Olympics WAG

1996: The Floor Music of the Atlanta Olympics

A Big Trend in 1996: Americana. 

Just as there was a lot of flamenco music during an Olympics held in Spain, there was a fair amount of U.S. music, particularly from the American gymnasts and the Romanian gymnasts. 

Another Big Trend: Songs from movie soundtracks. 

The French team pulled from recent movies like The Mask and Basic Instinct. But there were songs from older movies, including Galieva’s Charlie Chaplin tribute and Marinescu’s music from the Italian film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion.

UNITED STATES – JULY 29: KUNSTTURNEN: BODEN/Frauen ATLANTA 1996 29.7.96, Lilia PODKPPAYEVA/UKR GOLD – MEDAILLE (Photo by Mark Sandten/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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1992 Floor Music Olympics WAG

1992: The Floor Music of the Barcelona Olympics

The big trend in floor music in 1992: Flamenco, flamenco, and more flamenco. 

For decades, flamenco music has been a constant during women’s floor exercise, but the trend perhaps hit its crescendo during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. (You can read a little about the politics of flamenco at the bottom of the page.)

Yello: In 2021, Billie Eilish was the big contemporary music sensation during floor routines. In 1992, it was Yello.

Throwbacks from 40ish years prior: The nostalgia machine is always alive during floor exercise, trying to target audience members and judges in their 40s and 50s and beyond. In 1992, it emerged in pieces like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “An American in Paris Ballet.”

BARCELONA – AUGUST 1: Henrietta Onodi of Hungary competes in the Floor Exercise on August 1, 1992 during the Women’s Gymnastics competition of the 1992 Summer Olympics held at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
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Compulsories Floor Music Olympics WAG World Championships

1958-1996: Compulsory Floor Music over the Decades

As far as FIG events are concerned, women’s individual floor exercise was first introduced at the 1950 World Championships, but at the time, gymnasts did not use floor music. In fact, at the 1950 FIG Congress, the delegates had to decide if gymnasts should perform to music at the 1952 Olympics, and they voted against it (eight votes to three).

It wasn’t until 1958 that music was introduced for individual floor routines, both compulsory and optional. 

Below, you’ll find recordings of the music for the compulsory routines from 1958 until 1996. For some of you, the music will bring back fond memories. For others, it’ll bring back nightmares. But hopefully, you’ll find a piece you enjoy listening to.

19 Sep 1988: Phoebe Mills does her floor exercise during the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. Mandatory Credit: Billy Strickland /Allsport
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1962 Compulsories MAG WAG World Championships

1962: The Compulsory Routines for the World Championships

What were compulsory routines at the 1962 World Championships?

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, there aren’t videos of the routines on YouTube. But in this post, you can find the English text for the men’s compulsories, as well as the English text and drawings for the women’s compulsories.

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1968 Olympics WAG

1968: Valerie Nagy’s Reaction to the Mexico City Olympics

What were the 1968 Olympics like from the perspective of a Women’s Technical Committee member? Well, the Vice President, Valerie Nagy of Hungary, wrote an article for Olympische Turnkunst, in which she summarized her views.

Not surprisingly, she pointed out that there was some “clever teamwork” among the judges. 

100 Years of the FIG
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1962 WAG World Championships

1962: Berthe Villancher’s Summary of the World Championships

After the 1962 World Championships in Prague, Berthe Villancher, the President of the Women’s Technical Committee, penned a summary for the French magazine Éducation physique et sport (November 1962). 

It’s a fascinating article, in which she calls the judges “combatants,” echoing something that Dr. Klinger wrote after the men’s competition at the 1934 World Championships.

You can find an English translation of Villancher’s article below.

100 Years of the FIG
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European Championships MAG Olympics Perfect 10 WAG World Championships

The Perfect Scores before Nadia Comăneci and Nellie Kim

Before Nadia Comăneci’s and Nellie Kim’s perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympic Games, there was a long line of gymnasts who obtained perfect scores at the Olympic Games, the World Championships, or the European Championships. (Originally, the World Championships were called the International Tournament.)

Some of them even managed perfect totals, meaning that they received the maximum score for their compulsory and optional routines combined.

So, here’s a chronological list of the gymnasts who were “perfect” before Comăneci and Kim.

Kunstturn-WM in Basel 1950: Barren-Sieger Hans Eugster (Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
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1907 Sokols WAG World Championships

1907: Women’s Gymnastics at the Czech Sokol Rally

Women didn’t compete at the International Tournament in 1907. (They wouldn’t compete at the World Championships until 1934.) But female gymnasts were part of the Fifth Sokol Rally in 1907. 

Let’s take a look at their participation.