Although the Eastern European countries are still forces to be reckoned with in international gymnastics, they no longer dominate the sport as they once did. More and more nations are producing world-class gymnasts. Since 1984, China has emerged as a major gymnastics power, but several other countries have also produced medal-winners.
At the 1996 Olympics, 12 different countries claimed medals, including Greece, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Korea. Russia and China took the bulk of the medals in 2000, but France won two, its first since 1972, and Spain won its first ever gymnastics medal when Gervasio Deferr took the gold in the men's vault.
In the meantime, gymnastics has expanded to include other disciplines. Rhythmic gymnastics was recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation in 1962 and world championships were inaugurated in 1973. It became an Olympic sport in 1984.
Trampoline and tumbling were once part of the standard gymnastics program. Tumbling was included as a gymnastics event at the 1932 Olympics and both trampoline and tumbling were included in the AAU and NCAA gymnastics championships for many years.
Exiled from gymnastics meets, trampolinists formed the International Trampoline Federation (ITF) to govern the sport in 1964. Tumbling was added to the world championships in 1972. The ITF merged into International Gymnastics Federation in 1999. That cleared the way for trampolining to become an Olympic event in 2000, as an added gymnastics discipline. At the same time, USA Trampoline & Tumbling (USATT) merged with USA Gymnastics.
Sports acrobatics, which had developed as a separate sport during the 1930s, has also become a gymnastics discipline, and was offered as a demonstration sport at the 2000 Olympics.
According to USA Gymnastics, as the U. S. Gymnastics Federation is now known, there are now more than 71,000 athletes registered in competitive programs, compared to about 7,000 in the mid-1960s. The organizations has mkore than 13,000 professional and instructor members and annually sanctions about 3,000 competitive events throughout the country.