I had never heard of Acrobatic Gymnastics until I encountered this video. Although it is not an Olympic sport, it is growing in popularity and some propose replacing Rhythmic Gymnastics with it. After watching this women’s group performance at the 2010 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships, I see why.
The Combined routine must include Balance segments, wherein competitors must hold complex poses for a duration of time, and Dynamic segments, wherein competitors demonstrate power and grace with throws and flight. The team from Russia, comprised of Aigul Shaikhutdinova, Ekaterina Stroynova, Ekaterina Loginova shows off their mastery of these skills along with playful choreography that belies the focus and precision required of the routine.
The confidence and grace they show between moves and throws is astounding. Not only does each girl have to have incredible control over her own body, she must implicitly trust her partners. One slip from any member during a pose or throw could result in grave injury. Yet with no hesitation, they hit every mark perfectly. There is no doubt that this is a winning performance.
The Russian team ended up leaving the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships with the most metals won, though this was their only gold metal.