You Are Here > > > > Gymnastics

Gymnastics at the 1972 München Summer Games

1972 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: München, West Germany
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: September 1, 1972
Events: 14

Participants: 231 (113 men and 118 women) from 28 countries
Youngest Participant: HUN Krisztina Medveczky (14 years, 136 days)
Oldest Participant: PRK Jo Jong-Ryol (32 years, 209 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): GDR Karin Janz and JPN Sawao Kato (5 medals)
Most Medals (Country): JPN Japan and URS Soviet Union (16 medals)


The 1972 gymnastics events were held at the [Sporthalle], or Olympiahalle, in the München Olympiapark. It was built specifically for the 1972 Olympics and hosted gymnastics and the handball final matches. It still exists as of 2012 and hosts concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, and trade fairs.

The program in 1972 was the standard one, which began in this form in 1960, with individual and team all-around for both men and women, with women competing in four apparatus finals and men in six. The men's events were dominated by the Japanese, who won 16 medals and 5 gold medals, as only three nations – Japan, Soviet Union, and the GDR (East Germany) – won medals. The same was true on the women's side with only the Soviet Union, the GDR, and Hungary winning medals, with the Soviet Union winning 10 medals, the GDR 7, and Hungary taking a lone medal.

The 1972 and 1976 Olympics revolutionized the sport on the women's side. Prior to 1972, women's gymnasts were usually in the early 20s and performed pretty routines on the apparatus but in 1972 female teenagers, notably Soviet [Olga Korbut], starting performing very acrobatic and dangerous routines. When Romania's [Nadia Comăneci] pushed the envelope even farther at the 1976 Olympics, women's gymnastics would become a sport for very young teenage females.