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This is a tutorial how to make yourself an olympic rings according to the apparatus norms (click for .pdf).

Step 1 - Get the parts you need:

  • Wooden rings of olympic size. Besides buying those, there is a way to create those by yourself with high quality marine plywood (click to see video).
  • 2 x 150 cm high quality leather, which is 4 cm wide and ~4 mm thick. We will use them to build the desired 70 cm straps.
  • 2 x 2.50m stainless steel plastic coated cables - 4/5 mm, which means 4 mm thick and 1 mm coat. Steel cables have the advantage of not turning that easy, thus reducing the risk of having your body parts stuck during swing elements. I've written explicitly stainless steel, which should hold for all following elements as well! Aluminum is NOT OK.
  • 4 x cable eye stiffeners - 4 mm. We use them to protect the cables on the U-turns.
  • 4 x egg shaped wire clamps - 4 mm. We use them for fixing the cables.
  • 2 x swivels of a jaw type (one side for the mount and the other for the cables). Swivels are important for the rotation of the rings during swing elements.
  • 2 x triangles, 4 cm (one side for the straps and the other for the cables)
  • Tape
  • Slings for mounting, couple millimeters wider than the jaws of the swivels (note that you can mount your stuff in other way)

Step 2 - Put the pieces together:

I'll suggest you to start you way from the rings. So first bind up together the rings with the triangle using the leather. Note that once you've done that, there is pretty much no way back, since you've nailed the leather into a single strap. Then finish with the ropes and their standard setup with the stiffeners and clamps. Overall it should look like this:

As we can see on the image, all pieces are put together starting from the rings to the cow-hitch knot of the sling at the end. Here a couple more details at the upper end:

In this step you'll have to make sure that your both rings are of equal length. I had mad luck when making my construction, because I assembled everything perfect so I had no need to readjust anything. Btw, readjusting happens at the cable level, since readjusting the fixed leather strap would be too much trouble. Finally, you'll have to measure your both leveled rings and note what you've measured.

Step 3 - Finish the rings:

Before starting this step you'll have to make sure that your construction works. So attach the rings somewhere and stretch them really decent. After doing this, go through your whole construction and check all elements. You'll measure the rings again and will compare your measure with the previously stored measure before the tests. If there are big deviations, then some parts are not stable enough and you'll have to find and fix those parts.

So after having your couple of strong rings with cables and straps of equal length we come the the final step, where you tape all potentially scratching parts. You should fix the rings to the leather, as well as fix the leather itself.

Step 4 - Attach and Attack!:

I attach my rings using sling for climbing either at the bouldering gym, or at some tree branch, with a cow hitch knot on both sides (knot as on the image).

Before exploding with your first sick routine on the rings, first get some feeling process, whether all is fine!

Then go on!

This Easter we had a great time on Saar River! Thanks to everyone for showing up!




And a small highlight video:

Today I read happy that Jordan Jovtchev has qualified for the Olympics in London 2012, which is his sixth Olympics! That makes him the only gymnast to do this, so he'll participate at age of 39 years!

Considering that he is the only Bulgarian gymnast at world level he qualified literally Bulgaria at his own crushing an all 6 apparatus on his own! His own words quoted by are also worth mentioning:

"I am very happy, I can't be any other way," Jovtchev said on Bulgarian radio. "I was a bit anxious facing a hard six-event competition where many famous gymnasts failed to win a spot so I am fully contented now."

Ahlthough, I trully think that the Olympics are symbol for making sports a shit by promoting drugs usage, politic games, nasty tactics like pregnacy and much more shit, I admire this result of this great athlete.

An athlete, who did more for his country than every politician lived.

An athlete, who as he said, sacrificed many gold medals by ignoring the offer to change his citizenship to American.

An athlete, who runs a federation and competes at olympics level.

An athlete, who made dozens of instructionals.

An athlete, who is also a great human!

I won't get into a details about his bio, as you can check in internet by yourself (indeed, not so much written, as it actually should). I'll just add some youtube links to one of his great instructionals about ring strength and the proof that this works - his rings routine in Athens 2004, considered widely as the strongest and cleanest rings routine: