Gymnastics is all about strength-to-weight ratio. You must be strong enough to throw your body around, or light enough that it's not that hard to do so. For a long time, the favored route to success in gymnastics was the latter, mirroring larger social pressures on women to be thin and delicate and innocent and young.
...Several paragraphs about the effects, including careers ending at puberty...
[Recent changes to the scoring system] gives more points for harder stuff, which has accelerated how difficult the very top routines have become. The new rules reward the incredible strength it takes not only to soar high in the air while doing two flips and two twists but to do it again and again in the gym without destroying your body. They're also more objective, with less room for judges score on aesthetics unrelated to how skills are supposed to be performed.
« Older A remote, lonely and desolate continent - Long may... | Bayes on the Brain Newer »