• Laurita Marconi Schiavon Faculty of Physical Education, University of Campinas, Brazil
  • Bruna Locci Faculty of Physical Education, University of Campinas, Brazil



Women artistic gymnastics, history, Olympic Games


This paper analyzes the perspectives of Brazilian gymnasts on the experience of participatingin the Olympic Games (OG) in the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) competition (1980-2004), using oral history in a qualitative research approach, and cross-sectional thematic analysis. The author interviewed ten Brazilian WAG gymnasts (100% of the sample) who participated in OG until 2004. The gymnasts’ testimonials indicated that, as the Brazilian WAG team improved their performance in international competitions, gymnasts’ expectations have changed over time, although the dream to participate in the OG was shared by all of them. From the generation of the pioneering gymnasts (1984-1988-1992) to the transitional generation (1996-2000), it is possible to observe several differences related to the pressure to perform well in the competition. While the pioneering gymnasts were not concerned about their ranking in the OG, the transitional gymnasts were reminded of the responsibility to represent their country. For the new generation gymnasts (2004), the participation in the OG carried the burden of needing to accomplish something, to be among the best gymnasts in the world, with actual chances of going to the finals and getting medals in the apparatus finals. Testimonials show their confidence in the work developed by the experienced Ukrainian coaches who led the Brazilian team in the OG in Athens. Gymnasts describe their experience in the OG as having accomplished a mission, feeling at the same time relief, disappointment, desire to return to other editions and some even report the sensation of being lost after returning to Brazil.


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How to Cite

Schiavon, L. M., & Locci, B. (2018). BRAZILIAN OLYMPIC GYMNASTS’ PERSPECTIVES ON THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 10(3), 437-451.

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