How many gymnasts will compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games?

Twelve men’s teams and 12 women’s teams (with five athletes per team) will compete in the Olympic artistic gymnastics competition. In addition, 72 individual competitors (36 men and 36 women) from NOCs without a qualified team may compete (with a maximum of three individual athletes per NOC). That is a maximum of 96 men and 96 women for a total of 192 athletes. 

What is the rotation order in Olympic gymnastics?

The order in which gymnasts rotate from one apparatus to the next, often referred to as Olympic order, is as follows:

  • Women: Vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor
  • Men: Floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar 

All gymnasts will follow this order regardless of which apparatus they start on. For example, if a gymnast starts her competition on the balance beam, she will rotate through the events in Olympic order, finishing her competition on the uneven bars. 

What are the competition phases in Olympic gymnastics?

There are four phases of Olympic gymnastics competition:

  • Qualification - No medals awarded 
  • Team Finals - Medals awarded 
  • All-Around Finals - Medals awarded 
  • Event Finals - Medals awarded 

For the women, event finals consists of individual competitions (spanning two days) on four apparatuses: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Vault and uneven bars will take place on the first day of event finals. Balance beam and floor exercise will take place on the second day. 

Event finals for the men also span two days. On the first day of event finals the men will compete on floor exercise, pommel horse and still rings. Vault, parallel bars and high bar will take place on the second day. 

Event finals for both the men and women take place on the same day, alternating between the men's and women's apparatuses in Olympic order. For example, event finals will begin with men's floor exercise. Once all eight athletes have finished, the women's vault final will begin. The men's competition will resume with pommel horse, followed by the women's uneven bar final and the men's still rings final. The second day of competition will begin with the men's vault final, followed by the women's beam final, the men's parallel bars final and the women's floor exercise final. The artistic gymnastics competition will conclude with the men's high bar final. 

How does the qualification round work in Olympic gymnastics?

 Every gymnast, whether competing for a team or as an individual, competes in the qualification round. Men and women have qualification on separate days – one day each. Gymnasts are divided into groups, called subdivisions, by random draw. Gymnasts competing individually are drawn into “mixed groups” of five or six, with gymnasts from the same country staying together (for instance, if Panama sends two individual gymnasts, they might be placed into a group with three individual gymnasts from Spain). “Mixed groups” are randomly put into subdivisions with gymnasts who are competing with a team. A subdivision, therefore, might consist of the U.S. team, the French team, and two mixed groups. During each subdivision’s time slot, the mixed groups within that subdivision will rotate from one apparatus to another until they have completed them all (the groups are not mixed up – in the example above, the U.S. team would start on one apparatus and stay together, as would the French team and each of the mixed groups). Within each team, the order of the gymnasts competing on each apparatus is decided by the national team coaches. 

This round serves as the qualifier for the team final, all-around final, and the event finals. A team consists of five athletes, a change since the Tokyo Games, where teams were composed of four athletes. In qualifying, four athletes can compete in each event, with the top-three scores counting (this format is often verbally said as "four up, three count"). An athlete attempting to qualify for the all-around final has to perform on all four events (for women) or six events (for men) in order to get a cumulative all-around score. Otherwise, they will only be in contention to make individual event finals and/or team finals if they are competing as part of a team. 

The men will be divided into three subdivisions and the women will be divided into five subdivisions for qualification. For each gender, the 12 teams and mixed groups of individuals will be divided evenly amongst the subdivisions. All four or six apparatus are in use at once, and there are no “byes.” So a team (or a group of individuals) proceeds in Olympic order from event to event with no bye rotations. The event in which a team starts is determined by random draw.

Gymnasts do one routine per apparatus, with an exception on vault – if a gymnast wants to make the individual event final on vault, they must do two different vaults, the scores of which are averaged, to be in contention. In this case, only the score of the first vault will count toward the team score and/or all-around score. 

In all, a team’s final qualifying score in the men’s team competition is made up of 18 scores — the top-three scores from six different apparatus. The women’s team competition is made up of 12 scores — the best three scores from the four different apparatus. Individual all-around scores are the cumulative scores from one athlete on all four or six apparatuses. 

Scores from qualification (which do not carry over to the finals) determine the following outcomes for both genders: 

  1. The top-eight teams qualify for team finals.
  2. Top 24 individual gymnasts qualify for the all-around finals, with a maximum of two gymnasts per NOC.
  3. The top eight individual gymnasts on each apparatus qualify for the respective event finals, with a maximum of two gymnasts per NOC per event. 
  4. Final individual all-around placings 25th and lower will be determined.
  5. Final team placings 9th -12th will be determined.

How does the team final work in Olympic gymnastics?

Team finals take place after qualification and before the all-around and event finals. The top-eight teams from qualification advance to the team final, and all eight compete in one session.

Scores start again from zero. In the team final, only three athletes can compete on a given event for each team and all three scores count toward the team final ("three up, three count"). Thus, the final team score will be the total of all 12 routines for women and all 18 routines for men. 

This format (only three athletes per event with no scores dropped), first appeared in Olympic competition at the 2004 Games. The fact that no scores may be dropped allows for some surprise results, because an athlete from a favored nation may have a fall and move his or her team down in the rankings, while a lesser regarded nation could potentially contend for a medal by hitting all 12 (women) or 18 (men) of its routines cleanly. In past Olympics before this format, a routine with a fall or several mistakes was less significant for a team’s result, because most likely that routine’s score would be dropped. And in the past, even if a team counted a missed routine in its final total, there were more total routines that counted toward the final team score, so the impact of that fall would be diluted. Under the current system, a fall is more damaging to a team’s medal chances.

During the men’s team final, each team goes from event to event in Olympic order (floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar for men). The teams that ranked first and second in qualifying start on floor, third and fourth start on pommel horse, fifth and sixth start on rings, and seventh and eighth start on vault. So the top teams will finish (and medals will be solidified) on high bar. 

During the women’s team finals, each team goes from event to event in Olympic order (vault, bars, beam, floor). The teams that ranked first and second in qualifying start on vault, the third and fourth ranked teams start on uneven bars, the fifth and sixth ranked teams start on balance beam, and the seventh and eighth ranked teams start on floor. So the top teams will finish (and medals will be solidified) on floor. 

Each performing athlete is allowed only one routine per apparatus, including on vault. 

The highest cumulative team score wins. The team final determines the top eight placements in the men’s and women’s team events including the gold, silver, and bronze medals.

How does the all-around final work in Olympic gymnastics?

The 24 gymnasts with the best cumulative individual scores from qualifying advance to the individual all-around final. No more than two gymnasts from any one country may advance to the individual all-around final. As a result, some gymnasts whose scores are not among the 24 best from qualifying may advance to the all-around final, and some who are among the 24 best from qualifying may not advance to the final. (It is common for strong programs, like the U.S. women, to have multiple gymnasts in the top 24 who don't make the final because of the two-per-country rule). 

Scores from qualifying are not carried over, and each of the 24 participants in the individual all-around final will begin the all-around final at zero. In the individual all-around final, each gymnast does one routine on each of the apparatuses, including on vault. The scores from each exercise are added together, and the gymnast with the highest total is crowned the individual all-around champion.

In the women’s all-around, the 24 qualified athletes are divided into four groups of six. The top-six gymnasts from qualifying will begin on vault, qualifiers seven through 12 will begin on uneven bars, qualifiers 13 through 18 will begin on the balance beam, and qualifiers 19 through 24 will begin on floor exercise.

In the men’s all-around, the 24 qualified athletes are divided into four groups of six. The top six qualifiers will begin on floor exercise, qualifiers seven through 12 will begin on pommel horse, qualifiers 13 through 18 will begin on still rings, and qualifiers 19 through 24 will begin on vault.

After each rotation, the athletes move to the next event according to Olympic order so that in the final rotation, the top-six qualifiers are competing on floor in the women's event and high bar in the men's event (and the number one qualifier is competing last of those six). 

How do you advance to the event finals in Olympic gymnastics?

The final phase of Olympic gymnastics competition consists of event finals, also called apparatus finals. The top-eight scorers on each apparatus from qualifying — with a limit of two per nation — advance to the respective apparatus finals.

The starting order for each apparatus will be decided by random draw. As is the case in the individual all-around final, gymnasts have “new life” in the apparatus finals — no scores are carried over from qualifying or other finals in which they may have competed.

Each gymnast will perform one exercise on the apparatus for which he or she has qualified. In the men’s and women’s vault finals, however, two different vaults from two different vault groups (or families) must be performed. The scores of the two vaults are averaged to arrive at a final apparatus score.