Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport which combines dance and gymnastics with the use of balls, hoops, ribbons, ropes, and clubs. The name of the sport was recently changed from "rhythmic sportive gymnastics" (RSG) to "rhythmic gymnastics" (RG)

Rhythmic gymnastics began in Scandinavia during the 19th century when two schools of thought about gymnastics collided, resulting in this sport. Originally developed to provide an overall physical fitness program for girls and women of all ages, RG mostly evolved during the 1950's. The sport was first recognized by the FIG (international gymnastics sport governing body) in 1962, and the first World Championship was held in 1963 in Budapest, Hungary with 10 European countries competing. The Individual all-around was added to the 1984 Olympics; the first Group Event was included at the 1996 Olympics.

Gymnasts perform on a carpet (13x13 m for individual and 14x14 for group) to music either individually or in a group of five. In competition, gymnasts perform leaps, pivots, balances, and other elements to demonstrate flexibility and coordination. The apparatus is fully integrated in the routine, and specific moves are performed with each apparatus. Individual routines last from 1 minute and 15 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds, while group routines last from 2 minutes 15 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Two routines are required in group competition; one with all gymnasts using the same apparatus, and one with two different apparatus and in individual competitions 4 out of five apparatus are being used. The athletic and physical skills required of the Rhythmic Gymnast include flexibility, strength, agility, dexterity, power and endurance.