While some may not see athletics as a creative field, sports are actually a form of artistic expression. Watching our favorite athletes on television, we are often awed by their grace, their power, and their passion in their sport. Certain sports prioritize elegance and captivation just as much as they do technique, speed, and precision. Their visual products often showcase the dedication athletes put into their sport– they spend hours upon hours of training to present a brief demonstration where every single detail is noticed.
From the outfits to the facial expressions, here is a list of 5 of many of the world’s most visually creative sports! These are in no particular order:
Figure Skating: A beautiful combination of skating on ice and dance, figure skaters have to not only perfect their technique and ensure their safety, but they also have to put on a show for the audience! The danger of the sport itself makes it so fascinating to watch, as we witness athletes leaping and twirling mid air, holding our breaths before they land upon the ice. Whether it’s singles or doubles, figure skating is a masterpiece of a sport. The final products look almost effortless– we see skaters and their flowing clothes create designs on the ice and stun the world with their routines.
Artistic/ Synchronized Swimming: After the 2016 Rio Olympics, the sport was renamed as “artistic swimming” to better reflect its nature. Not only is synchronized swimming a performative spectacle, but it requires the utmost strength, flexibility, coordination, and breath control. It is a difficult act to pull off on your own, but when trying to stay in sync with other people, it makes the sport that much more taxing. Artistic swimming better encompasses all the aspects of creativity that go into it: the complex choreography, the acrobatics, the style, and the fluidity of the moves.
Artistic Gymnastics & Rhythmic Gymnastics:
We tend to think about artistic gymnastics when we envision gymnastics. For women, gymnasts compete in four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. Gymnastics takes strength, power, flexibility, agility, balance, and grace. Whether they’re tumbling high in the air, giving us a flashy floor routine, or flipping upon a thin balance beam, artistic gymnastics is a spectacle that you can’t draw your eyes away from!
Rhythmic gymnastics consists of 5 apparatus: rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon. Routines go along with music and it is scored based on the execution of different maneuvers with these objects. There is room for musical interpretation and, of course, an array of breathtaking acrobatics. Athletes have to maintain their strength, speed, and flexibility while also expressing themselves artistically for audiences and judges.
Competitive Dancing: Covering a plethora of styles and techniques, competitive dancing is a form of performing arts and storytelling. Of course, the basics and technicalities are heavily emphasized, especially when starting out, but instructors also cultivate creative thought. Performers have to connect and relate to the audience, expressing themselves through movement and facial expressions. There are also chances to improvise a bit to include your own extra flair to make a routine your own.
Archery: Archery has served a practical purpose for our survival in the past, but it has developed into an artistic sport! The amount of focus and dedication it takes to simply maintain your vision on a target is impressive enough. The open stances, the draw of the bow, the precision, the sound of the arrow hitting its target, and the handcrafted art of the bows makes it a visually intriguing sight to see. Not only that, but there is a lot of artistic and mythological significance behind archery’s history.
Sports present a physical display of art. These sports, and so many others, have melded with forms of artistic expression like acrobatics, synchronization, dance, and more! It takes more than skill and pure strength– there is also the appearance of how the sport is executed. Behind the scenes, athletes put in so much time, effort, and dedication to create a spectacle for all of us to watch and admire.
There are countless sports that include some type of artistic liberation. We would love to hear about your favorite artistic sports to watch/participate in!
“The Art of Archery: 10 Artists We Love.” Archery 360, archery360.com/2015/01/02/the-art-of-archery-10-artists-we-love/.
“Learn about the 7 Types of Gymnastics.” Liveabout.com, www.liveabout.com/types-of-gymnastics-1714796.
“Rhythmic Gymnastics.” Tokyo 2020, olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/sports/rhythmic-gymnastics/.
“What Are the Most Artistic Sports?” Americashows.com, craftsamericashows.com/what-are-the-most-artistic-sports/.
“What is Artistic Swimming? Why the Sport’s Name Changed From Synchronized Swimming.” NBC, www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports/tokyo-summer-olympics/what-is-artistic-swimming-why-the-sports-name-changed-from-synchronized-swimming/2576787/.