These Images Perfectly Capture How Vaulting Has Changed Over The Years
Journey from "the horse" to "the tongue."
Every four years, millions around the world gather to watch the Summer Olympic Games, and one of the most popular sports people look forward to seeing are the amazing gymnastic events.
Gymnasts are agile and strong and mesmerizing.
I mean, wow.
And the technique that showcases those strengths the most is, without a doubt, the vault. It's a move that requires the athlete to run at a high speed, jump upon a trampoline-like structure, spin in mid-air, and then land firmly on their feet.
As with most things, vaulting has evolved quite a bit over the course of the last century. The device athletes used to flip across and land, aka "the horse" has changed for the purpose of safety.
The new equipment, known as "the tongue," allows for players to execute their move more safely and fluidly.
Even the technique of vaulting has changed over the years, for both men and women. Although men have been competing since the start of the 1896 modern Olympic Games, the women's program wasn't a fully-fledged program until the 1952 games.
Look at these GIFs of Larisa Latynina and McKayla Maroney from the 1956 and 2012 Summer Games, respectively.
The images — taken 56 years apart — show just how much the vault has evolved. It should be noted that both Latynina and Maroney took home the gold for executing this move so flawlessly.