Rhythmic gymnastics is performed exclusively by women and is a combination of gymnastics and dance. The gymnasts perform choreographed movements with musical accompaniment using hand apparatus such as rope, hoop, ball, clubs and a ribbon. Disciplines include individual and group competition.
Gymnastics is one of the oldest Olympic sports. It has always been a part of the ancient, as well as the modern Olympic Games. Rhythmic gymnastics was first introduced as an official Olympic discipline in the programme of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, while the first group competition was introduced 12 years later, in 1996, at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
Russia have dominated the discipline throughout its Olympic life and won every gold medal from Sydney 2000 to London 2012.