During the primetime broadcast of the women's gymnastics all-around final, cameras showed Russian gymnast Victoria Komova spraying down the bar with a liquid. Was it a super-secret concoction cooked up by Cold War scientists to help Russian women fly around the bars and earn top scores?


Nah. It was just water.




Every gymnast prepares the uneven bars to her own liking. To create the best stick, they use a mix of resin and water. Male gymnasts often use honey or Karo syrup for a similar effect. They need a good grip as they complete giant swings, handstands and release moves. The perfect grip won't keep a gymnast from missing the bar on a release move, but it can help her complete perfect handstands.

It's used by every country. Before Aly Raisman started her routine, her coach Mihai Brestyan could be seen with a spray bottle in his hand.

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