2020 Gymnastics Guide to Tokyo Olympics

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guide to gymnastics at 2020 olympics


***Please note: The 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed and are now being held in the summer of 2021**

The year we’ve all been waiting for is finally here – the year of the summer 2020 Olympics!

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be here before we know it so it’s time to get all the info about artistic gymnastics for this very important competition!!

We don’t know about you, but we sure are excited!

Here’s all the info that we know right now. As we learn more, we’ll update this article so keep checking back.


Where are the 2020 Summer Olympics?

The 2020 Summer Olympics (now 2021) are being held in Tokyo, Japan. Gymnasts will compete at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre which holds up to 12,000 spectators.


When is the US Olympic Team Decided?

The Us Olympic team is decided at the US team trials being held June 24-June 27 2021.

The top two ranked All Around gymnasts from this combined two-day competition will automatically qualify for the Olympic team. The Athlete Selection Committee will determine the remaining two spots plus 1-3 replacement athletes based on their discretion taking into consideration their placement at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships plus the Trials, the composite strength of all the Olympic Team members, team needs and medal potential, and international competition experience. Other factors such as start value, execution value, consistency, and professionalism will also be taken into account when selecting the remaining spots.


When do gymnasts compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics?

Female artistic gymnasts will compete on the following dates:

  • Sunday, July 25th – Women’s Team Qualification
  • Tuesday, July 27th – Women’s Team Final
  • Thursday, July 29th – Women’s Individual All-Around Final
  • Sunday, August 1st – Women’s Vault Final, Women’s Uneven Bars Final
  • Monday, August 2nd – Women’s Floor Exercise Final
  • Tuesday, August 3rd – Women’s Balance Beam Final


Here is the latest Women’s Gymnastics TV schedule.  Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone in the United States so most of the broadcasts will be replays.

Women’s Gymnastics TV Schedule for 2020 Tokyo Olympics (now 2021)




Wednesday, July 21 8pm EST Podium Training
Saturday, July 24 8pm EST Women’s Qualifications: Subdivision 1
Saturday, July 24 10pm EST Women’s Qualifications: Subdivision 2
Sunday, July 25 2am EST Women’s Qualifications: Subdivision 3
Sunday, July 25 4am EST Women’s Qualifications: Subdivision 4
Sunday, July 25 7am EST Women’s Qualifications: Subdivision 5
Tuesday, July 27 6am EST Women’s Team Final
Thursday, July 29 6am EST Women’s Individual All- Around
Sunday, August 1 4am EST Women’s Event Finals- Vault & Bars
Monday, August 2 4am EST Women’s Event Final- Floor
Tuesday, August 3 4am EST Women’s Event Final-  Beam


Age Requirements

All gymnasts participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 must be born on or before December 31, 2005 for the Women’s competitions. That means gymnasts must be at least 15 1/2 years of age to go to the Olympics. This year was pushed back one year when the Olympics were delayed a year.


What Events Do the Gymnasts Compete On

Women’s artistic gymnasts compete on four different apparatus in the Olympics. These are:

  • Vault– The vault table is about 4 feet tall, 4 feet long and 3 feet wide table.
  • Uneven Bars– The bars are made of fiberglass. The high bar is 8.2 feet tall and the lower bar is  5.6 feet tall.
  • Balance Beam– The balance beam is 4 inches wide, 4 feet tall and 16 feet long. It has springs in it and is covered in leather or suede.
  • Floor Exercise– The 39 feet by 39 feet square spring floor is made of springs, rubber foam and plywood.


The New Gymnastics Format for the Olympics 2020

The gymnastics qualification system underwent an overhaul following the Rio Olympics. Instead of having 5 team members per team as was done in the past, the women’s gymnastics teams will now consist of only 4 team members. In addition, there can be up to 2 specialists (whose scores do not count for the team) per each National Olympic Committee (i.e. the United States is considered a National Olympic Committee). These two gymnasts can compete as individualists on one or all events depending on their strengths. Their scores will not count toward the team score for their country, however.

Note: For the Paris 2024 Olympics, the format will go back to 5 team members without the individual specialist spots.

For team scoring purposes, four gymnasts will compete on each apparatus and only 3 scores will count.

For individual event finals, only two gymnasts per country will advance to the event finals, regardless of whether they were part of the team or were one of the individual specialist gymnasts. Thus, if 3 gymnasts from one country get the top 3 scores on an event, only the top 2 will compete in event finals.

What is slightly different with this format is that it enables the individual gymnasts, if they are all-rounders, to have a chance to compete in the all-around final (assuming they make it to the AA finals). So this could potentially be up to 6 gymnasts per country competing in the all-around competition as opposed to the 3 max in the past. For a country like the United States with its great breadth, this could be a potential show-down for all-around.

Olympic Gymnastics Scoring

There are two components to the final score that gymnasts receive at the Olympics – the execution score and the difficulty score. In the old system the execution score was the only score. This score remains out of a 10.0, but now the difficulty score is added to it. The difficulty score is based on what skills the gymnast performs and the bonuses she gets from connecting one skill to another. So now in theory, scores can be infinite because the difficulty score isn’t out of anything. However, scores in the 15s and 16s are good. The final score is calculated like this:

Final Score = Execution Score + Difficulty Score – Penalties

(Penalties are deductions such as stepping out of bounds)

A 9 judge panel is used to determine the score for each event. The difficulty score is determined by 2 judges. The execution score is determined by 5 judges; the score is calculated by dropping the highest and the lowest score from these judges and averaging the other 3 scores. The remaining 2 judges on the panel are the reference judges.

You can read more about Olympic Gymnastics Scoring here.

The U.S. Olympic Team

Here is a list of who we thought the top gymnasts to watch at the US Olympic Gymnastics Trials

  • Simone Biles (Team)- Spring, TX (trains at World Champions Centre)
  • Sunisa Lee (Team)- St. Paul, MN (trains at Midwest Gymnastics Center)
  • Jordan Chiles (Team)- Spring, TX (trains at Word Champions Centre)
  • Grace McCallum (Team)- Isanti, MN (trains at Twin City Twisters)
  • Jade Carey (Individual)- Phoenix, AZ (trains at Arizona Sundays)
  • MyKayla Skinner (Individual)- Gilbert, AZ (trains at Desert Lights Gymnastics)

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4 comments… add one
  • Anonymous February 23, 2020, 5:06 am

    thanks for making this article! i’m really excited to watch this years olympic games

    • gymnasticshq April 7, 2020, 4:04 pm

      We are super excited to watch the Olympics as well…unfortunately it will have to wait until 2021!

  • Reni April 7, 2020, 12:41 am

    Wait…Since the Olympics is postponed to next year, does the age cutoff change from December 31, 2004 to December 31, 2005

    • gymnasticshq April 7, 2020, 4:03 pm

      No information has been released at this time but we imagine the age requirements will change to reflect the new Olympics date, depending on when that new date is.


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