The word gymnastics has its origin in the Greek gumnazein which means "to train naked". This most graceful and artistic sport needs a combination of strength, dexterity and artistry.
Gymnastics was well known to the Greek and activities like rope climbing were part of the ancient Olympics. With the rise of the roman Empire the Greek method of physical culture spread. The sport declined for nearly 1,500 years and it was revived by men like Guts, Muthsan and Ling. However, most of the correct competitive exercises may be attributed to the German, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. Though modern gymnastics was developed in Germany, the most successful countries in this discipline have been Russia, Czechoslovakia and Japan. In 1881 the International Gymnastic Federation was formed and the first championship was held in 1903 at Antwerp.