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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Getty Images

Gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic sports. But unlike swimming (finish first!) or basketball (score more points!), it can be complex and difficult to follow.

How it works: There are seven individual events for men and five for women.

  • Men: Floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, horizontal bar, individual all-around.
  • Women: Floor exercise, vault, uneven bars, balance beam, individual all-around.

Scoring: The "Perfect 10" is a relic of the past. Since 2006, gymnasts earn scores made up of two components — difficulty ("D") and execution ("E").

  • Difficulty score: Routines are comprised of skills, and each skill has a pre-assigned value that reflects its difficulty. So the higher the "D" score, the harder the routine was.
  • Execution score: This is the grade for how well skills are performed. All "E" scores start at 10.0 and judges take deductions for mistakes, such as wobbles or poor dismounts.

Between the lines: Simone Biles' routines are so difficult that she can afford missteps and still dominate thanks to her huge "D" score. Something to watch: whether Tokyo judges give her moves — which few, if any, gymnasts can do — their proper value.

Of note: While artistic gymnastics is the most well-known discipline, medals will also be awarded in rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline.

Tokyo notes:

  • Men's schedule: The team final began early this morning (6am ET, Peacock) and will air on primetime tonight (8pm, NBC). The individual all-around final is on Wednesday.
  • Women's schedule: The team final begins early tomorrow morning (6:30am, Peacock) and will air on primetime tomorrow night (8pm, NBC). The individual all-around final is on Thursday.
  • Inside the venue: Ariake Gymnastics Centre is a temporary venue. That explains the unfinished wood seats that make it look like the world's biggest IKEA set, Axios' Ina Fried reports from Tokyo.
  • Spotted: A jar of honey! Turns out, men use it as a gripping agent for parallel bars.

Go deeper: Meet Team USA's gymnastics teams (Axios)

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2021 - Technology

Tokyo Olympics ratings spiral, spelling trouble for traditional TV

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Primetime ratings for the Tokyo Olympic Games were down 42% from the 2016 Games, according to data from NBCUniversal.

Why it matters: It's an undeniable proof point that the decline of traditional television is happening faster than initially expected. It also points to the ways media diets and interests have become more polarized and divided in the digital era.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

3 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.