Men's gymnastics consists of six competitions, and women's includes of four. Both men and women compete in floor and vault competitions. Women also compete on the balance beam and uneven bars; men compete on the pommel horse, parallel bars, still rings and horizontal bar.
The floor competition combines dancing and tumbling set to a musical piece. On the vault, the athlete runs from a specified distance and, with the help of a bouncing board, vaults to do a series of flips and twists through the air, attempting to land without losing her step.
On the balance beam, the gymnast flips, twirls, somersaults over a narrow beam, trying not to lose her balance. The uneven bars present two bars, set at 5 feet, 4 inches and 8 feet, between which the gymnast jumps, flips and swings without touching the floor or the other bar. Gymnasts perform a similar routine on the horizontal bar as well.
On the pommel horse, the gymnast supports himself using only his hands while doing a series of rotations and handstands. The parallel bars are where the gymnast executes a set of swings, flips and turns without touching the floor or losing grip on the bars. The still rings hang 19 feet in the air, nearly 20 inches apart from each other; here, the men must do a series of flips, keeping their arms completely straight and without shaking the cords on which the rings hang.