Why are men gymnast's usually older than women gymnasts?

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Mar 29, 2009
North Carolina
I have been wondering this for a long time. In the olympics, they said that Nastia, at 18, and Alicia, at age 20, were older than usual to still be doing the sport. On the men's side, however, there were gymnasts at the age of 30 and older! Why do women seem to get to the olympic level faster than men do?


boys need Testosterone to develop the muscle needed for mens gymnastics which usually doesn't happen until they are in puberty. Girl's however don't need puberty to develop muscles needed as they already have enough estrogen as a child to do so. boys can start up very late (into their teens) and still have a long career in gymnastics where the girls are usually all done by the time they are out of highschool.

Also once women hit their 20's they start to think about marriage and having children and well being pregnant and doing gymnastics just doesn't go together.


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Jan 4, 2008
There were women over the age of 30 as well. Oksana Chuitsnovita won a medal at the olympics for Germany and she was 33 years old then. She is not the only one, you are seeing more and more and more women staying in the sport longer, into their late 20's and early 30's.

Girls bodies mature and strengthen earlier than boys, girls can reach their peak earlier because of this. A bay can't even begin to build enough strength to do the sorts of things they need to do in gymnastics until they have gone through puberty. This generally doesn't happen until 14 or 15, so they can't even start a lot of their really serious training until then. So naturally they will compete later. A girls can achieve her peak strength much younger.

Also male and female gymnastics has different emphasis. mens gymnastics is based so much on extreme strength. Strength peaks in both men and women at the age of 30, so at 15 they arent even close to to their peak. While womens gymnastics has more of a basis in flexibility and being able to flip and twist where it helps to be small. Flexibility is better when you are younger, and the flipping and twisting is easier when you are smaller for a woman as she can't build up the strength of a man to get her body around. But this is all changing too, as womens gymnsatics is becoming more and more like mens.
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