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FIG Reduces Olympic Team Size From Five to Four

The International Gymnastics Federation or FIG has revamped the Olympics qualification process and has officially reduced the team sizes from five to four going into the 2020 Olympics Cycle.

The purpose is to encourage more diversity and by more diversity, more individuals from a variety of countries. According to an official press release, by this drastic measure, they have allotted an extra 24 spots. The four team members would be able to compete for spots in the all-around and event finals.

As for the countries that could not qualify a full team? The FIG has an answer for this in their official press release:

"Up to two gymansts from countries already qualified for the team competition would be eligible to compete as All-arounders or on their specialities based on a qualification system that includes results from the Continental Championships, World Cup and World Challenge Cups. "

The problem lies within the International Olympic Committee or IOC. They have allowed for only so many spots in gymnastics, and the FIG has to work a complex math problem to figure this out. In a perfect world, the IOC would give gymnastics unlimited number of spots, and this wouldn't be a problem.

Personally, I feel divided on this issue. I don't think that cutting team sizes is going to do much to allow for more participation. It will make it far more competitive for countries like the US that have an unlimited supply of athletes to chose from.  They'll deal with it and move on. But there are still countries that will struggle to put up four or even two good athletes. The problem lies in funding for their athletes to have decent training facilities and simply developing capable athletes.  Honestly, if the FIG wants to encourage more participation, a better option would be to start investing their money into struggling federations and into developing the sport. How about setting aside budgets for events to encourage youths to try gymnastics? How about encouraging some trans-federation partnerships? Coaching clinics for free? Grants for better training facilities?

There is a petition on to encourage the FIG to change their decision. If you have a minute, stop by and sign it.

Here is the link: Reverse the decision to change the Olympic format from five gymnasts to four.

One positive change I see from this decision, encouraging World Cup participation. I like this because this is a sport, and you compete in a sport. You will never get better at competing unless you do it.


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