Where Did Synchronized Swimming Become An Olympic Sport

Where Did Synchronized Swimming Become An Olympic Sport

Many people think that synchronized swimming does not require any effort. However, this is not true. Synchronized swimmers need to have a lot of strength, endurance, flexibility, grace and a superb ability to control their breath.

Synchronized swimmers use simple but special equipment to come across as graceful and elegant. They use a nose clip that prevents the water from entering into their nostrils when they are upside down in water; they use gelatin to keep their hair in place; above all they use water-proof makeup to ensure that their features are enhance while performing this art of strength and grace.

Whenever synchronized swimming competitions are taking place, organizers ensure that underwater speakers are fitted so that the swimmers can clearly hear the music. This is very important. As the name suggests that it is all about synchronizing your movements and a split second delay can make the entire performance look bad.

Earlier, synchronized swimming was known as water ballet and it first started in the 1920s in Canada from where it spread to the United States in the early 1930s. From there onwards, the popularity of synchronized swimming only increased. But when and where did synchronized swimming become an Olympic sport?

Initially synchronized swimming was as exhibition sport in the Olympics from 1948 to 1968. However, it became a full-fledged Olympic sport in 1984 during the Los Angeles Olympics.

Even today, synchronized swimming is only open to women and there are two events in this category -- duet and team events. Swimmers have to do a technical routine and freestyle routine to music for a set period of time and are judged accordingly. In addition, the moves for synchronized swimming have to be in a set order, namely boosts, thrusts and twirls. However, in freestyle routine, there are no restrictions. The judges have to look at the degree of difficulty, execution, innovation in choreography and effortless performance while giving points. There are two judging panels where one panel judges for technical performance while the other judges for artistic performance and each judge gives marks out of 10.

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Where Did Synchronized Swimming Become An Olympic Sport