Top level men artistic gymnastics (MAG): an observation of the training culture from the inside perspective.


  • Marco Antonio Coelho Bortoleto



This paper presents an ethnographic study that took place at a high level training gym of Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, at the Olympic Training Center of Sant Cugat del Vallés (Barcelona – Spain). The main goal of this study was to reveal the training culture characteristics of a high level training gym through a field observation (lasting one and a half year) by using the theoretical fundaments of the symbolic anthropology and the ethnographic methodology. We also highlight in this paper the institution context, some of the timing conditioning preparation of the gymnastics, some aspects of the social structure of the group and the universe symbolic indicators that characterize the activities inside the gym. Among the most relevant observation we detach the gym as a micro culture characterized by many ritual ceremonies, where the coaches have the power of the speech and the gymnasts are limited only to hear and execute whenever necessary. In this way the functioning of the gym follows a hierarchal respect of the orders and the responses of the activities and rules.



Original Article