For Elena Shinohara, whose mother competed for the Japanese national team, rhythmic gymnastics is in her blood.
But among many Americans the sport is largely unknown.
In a nutshell, rhythmic gymnastics combines dance and acrobatics. Competitors perform jaw-dropping leaps and awe-inspiring throws and catches with multiple implements: a ribbon, a ball, a hoop, and a pair of clubs.
“It’s popular in Eastern Europe and Asia,” explains Elena. “I realize not many people know what it is, but I love it. Most people confuse it with artistic gymnastics with the bars and the beam.”
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