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Paul Hamm (U.S.) competing on the parallel bars during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.—Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Event in men's gymnastics in which a pair of wooden bars supported horizontally above the floor at the same height is used to perform acrobatic feats. Competitors combine swings and vaults with stationary positions requiring strength and balance, though swings and vaults must predominate. It has been included as an Olympic gymnastics event since the modern games began in 1896. See alsouneven parallel bars.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on parallel bars, visit Britannica.com.