Artistic Gymnastics at the 1948 Summer Olympics

Dates 7 – 14 August 1948
Medal Events 9
Non-medal Events 2

The 1948 Olympic gymnastics events were scheduled to be held outdoors in the Empire Stadium, but the IOC and the FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique) did not count on the vagaries of an English summer and when rain made it impossible to conduct the gymnastics events outdoors, they were switched, literally at the last minute, to the Empress Hall at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The events were also postponed for three days because of the venue switch.

The men contested the standard Olympic program, with all-around competition in individual and teams. All entrants competed on every apparatus, with the individual all-around scores simply added from the apparatus scores, and the team scores derived by adding the individual team member scores. This was the last Olympics at which the Soviet Union would not compete and beginning in 1952 they would start to dominate gymnastics.

Women contested only a team all-around event, which was the last time the women would not have individual apparatus championships or an individual all-around at the Olympics. The women’s team event was especially poignant. Czechoslovakia brought two Misáková sisters – Eliska and Miloslava. But Eliska contracted poliomyelitis on arriving in England, and was quickly placed into an iron lung for four days at Uxbridge Isolation Hospital. She died on the day the women’s gymnastic event started. Czechoslovakia still competed and won the gold medal. At the victory ceremony, the Czechoslovak flag was raised with a black border around it in mourning for Eliska.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Individual All-Around, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 123 16
Team All-Around, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 123 16
Floor Exercise, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 121 16
Horse Vault, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 120 16
Parallel Bars, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 122 16
Horizontal Bar, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 121 16
Rings, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 121 16
Pommelled Horse, Men Olympic 12 – 13 August 1948 121 16
Team All-Around, Women Olympic 13 – 14 August 1948 88 11
211 (123/88) 19 (16/11)

Non-medal events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Swedish Gymnastics (Exhibition #1), Open Olympic (non-medal) 7 August 1948 0 0
Swedish Gymnastics (Exhibition #2), Open Olympic (non-medal) 13 August 1948 0 0
0 (0/0) 0 (0/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Individual All-Around, Men Veikko HuhtanenFIN Walter LehmannSUI Paavo AaltonenFIN
Team All-Around, Men FinlandFIN SwitzerlandSUI HungaryHUN
Floor Exercise, Men Ferenc PatakiHUN János Mogyorósi-KlencsHUN Zdeněk RůžičkaTCH
Horse Vault, Men Paavo AaltonenFIN Olavi RoveFIN Ferenc Pataki
János Mogyorósi-Klencs
Leo Sotorník
Parallel Bars, Men Michael ReuschSUI Veikko HuhtanenFIN Christian Kipfer
Sepp Stalder
Horizontal Bar, Men Sepp StalderSUI Walter LehmannSUI Veikko HuhtanenFIN
Rings, Men Karl FreiSUI Michael ReuschSUI Zdeněk RůžičkaTCH
Pommelled Horse, Men Heikki Savolainen
Veikko Huhtanen
Paavo Aaltonen
Team All-Around, Women CzechoslovakiaTCH HungaryHUN United StatesUSA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Finland FIN 6 2 2 10
Switzerland SUI 3 4 2 9
Hungary HUN 1 2 3 6
Czechoslovakia TCH 1 0 3 4
United States USA 0 0 1 1