32¢ Women’s Gymnastics
1996 Summer Olympics
Issue Date: May 2, 1996
City: Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Gymnastic competition was a part of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, and has bee a part of the Olympic agenda continually since 1924. However, it wasn’t until the 1972 Olympics that the sport received a great deal of attention from the mass public. The person credited with bringing this excitement to the sport was a woman, Olga Korbut of the Soviet Union.
Audiences around the world saw Korbut’s dramatic performance, and soon most major countries began to promote gymnastics, particularly for women. Indeed, many female gymnasts, like Romania’s Nadia Comaneci and America’s Mary Lou Retton, have become well-known celebrities.
Women compete in four events. In order, they are the side-horse vault, uneven parallel bars, balance beam, and the floor exercise. In the team all-around event and individual all-around event, gymnasts are scored for their compulsory and optional routines on each apparatus. Individual competitions are also held for each single apparatus. Six judges and one head judge score women’s competitions. The high and low scores are dropped, and the four remaining scores averaged – the head judge’s score is used only if there is great disparity in the scoring.