by Anna Rose Johnson

One of our favorite features in Inside Gymnastics is the annual 50 Most Photogenic, a fantastic focus on the fifty athletes whom we feel exemplify aesthetic beauty or awe-inspiring power—the special qualities that make gymnastics the greatest sport in the world!

Photo by Grace Chiu

Today, we’re spotlighting the highly artistic uneven bars routines of three members of our 2019 Class of the 50 Most Photogenic. These routines highlight all the components we love on this apparatus: clean lines, soaring releases, tricky transitions, and fluid connections.

Belgian star Nina Derwael is an excellent example of a gymnast who incorporates all of those special qualities in her dynamic routine. Just missing out on the 2016 Olympics due to an untimely injury, Derwael rebounded incredibly in 2017 to win the World bars bronze—upgrading her hardware to a historic gold in 2018!

U.S. World team gold medalist Riley McCusker sparkles on this event with her easy swing and perfect toe-point. A stylish all-arounder, McCusker is best known for her high-caliber bars and floor routines, and we’re so excited to see how she continues to progress on this event in particular.

Russian legend Aliya Mustafina should be included on every list of the most artistic or photogenic athletes! Her grace and elegance have impressed gym fans ever since her senior debut in 2010, and uneven bars is where she shines brightest. As a two-time Olympic champion on this apparatus, Mustafina has scaled back some of her difficulty in her latest comeback, but it’s still a fabulously noteworthy routine.

Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: