I was around 9 or 10 and the year was around the mid 1960′s. My dad took me to my first and only gymnastics meet at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. It was a men’s competition that night and I remember seeing two gymnastics events that are no longer used in competitions today, the Rope Climb and Tumbling.
In Rope Climbing, the competitor would sit on the floor with legs outstretched in front of him and the rope between them and he would climb to the top of the rope as fast as he could using only his hands (no legs or feet allowed). He would then strike a tambourine coated with lamp black so he could prove that his hand touched the tambourine. The person with the fastest time wion the competition.
This website gives a good description of the event:
Tumbling is done on a long narrow row of mats and it is a continuous set of 8 different tumbling moves. This was my favorite event, because it was so energetic and just plain awesome to watch. The tumbling in the current floor exercise event of today is great, but tumbling was adrenaline charged!
After watching this event at the UCLA gymnastics meet that one evening, I decided that’s the sport I wanted to try out for in high school and I did. Unfortunately, by that time, tumbling was no longer used in competition so I went for the next best thing which was floor exercise. Click the link below, to see a series of AWESOME tumbling runs: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2045786/extreme_gymnastics_best_ever_tumbling_compilation/