Where are the Flipping Funds?

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Kris Sana

Men’s gymnastics is an undervalued sport that is currently losing many college programs due to undervalue from the media. (Photo Credits to Kris Sana)

Olympic gymnastics is one of the most intense sports to watch on live television. While there are men’s and women’s teams for every country, America as a whole devalues men’s gymnastics. There are few colleges that even have men’s gymnastics teams. The devalue in men’s gymnastics is unfair to male gymnasts because they do not have as many opportunities as the women’s gymnastics teams. The devalue of  men’s gymnastics is due to the sport being undervalued by the media. 

“I started gymnastics because I wanted to learn how to do cool flips and get a six-pack one day,” said Level 10 gymnast Noah Hill.

No gymnast starts gymnastics for the same reason. Some start because their parents did gymnastics, or they wanted to stay active or want to learn how to do flips. But, they all started with strong motives. Some gymnasts’ goals are to just do team gymnastics as a kid, some go to the college level and others go to the Olympic level. In each level of gymnastics, it gets harder to find programs to support the men’s side of gymnastics. 

“I think colleges do not have nearly enough men’s gymnastics teams,” said Level 10 gymnast Joshua Stevenson. 

There are many different boys and men’s gymnastics teams up to age 18 across the country, college-level is when it starts to diminish. Across the United States, there are 13 men’s college gymnastics teams versus the 62 women’s gymnastics teams. One of the 13 teams, Minnesota University is currently in the process of omitting their men’s gymnastics team. Per team, there are 6 men allowed to compete for their university. This gives small opportunities to gymnasts for scholarships and continuing their gymnastics careers. One of the reasons that men’s gymnastics programs are so rare is because the media does not show as much or promote men’s gymnastics. 

“Men’s gymnastics definitely needs to be represented more. The amount of mental and physical skill that you need for it is absurd and it is sad to see athletes who work so hard and do not get recognition for it,” said level 10 gymnast Max Gendreau.

Gymnastics is by no way an easy sport. It takes mental and physical determination that the media doesn’t show. The media shows big competitions like the Olympics but does not recognize the college-level athletes doing just as much at their meet that they worked hard for. And even if the college teams are shown on tv or mainstream media, it is usually women’s gymnastics and not men’s teams. This lack of representation in the media has led to a decline and end of many gymnastics programs; especially men’s programs. 

“Men’s gymnastics is poorly represented in college. The only people that represent college gymnastics are the people that are directly involved in it. Schools do next to nothing to grow the presence of men’s gymnastics,” added Stevenson.

The lack of attention to men’s gymnastics is offending to the amount of pristine skill that it  takes to be that type of athlete. Mainstream media, colleges, and universities need to be proactive to save the dying sport of men’s gymnastics.