||This article is being edited by students as part of a class project. Please assume good faith. If there are any problems, you are encouraged to contact an administrator. More information can be found here.|
Synchronized swimming is a sport that is practiced in the water. It’s a routine of movements performed on the rhythm of the music, like dancing. This sport is very demanding because it needs lots of cardio and muscular power. Also, it requires a good capacity of location in three dimensions in the water while the athletes are performing.
History[change | edit source]
Synchonized swimming became an Olympic sport in 1884, in Los Angeles, with solo and duo routines. In Montreal, the first competition took place in 1924. Also, in 2000, they included team routines at Sydney’s Olympics. Synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are the only sports exclusively practiced by women at the Olympics. 
Competitions[change | edit source]
There are many competitive stages: invitation, regional, provincial, Eastern Division Championship and Canadian Championship. In each competition, athletes are judged on their level that is determined by ages: novice, development, intermediate, performance and master. In Quebec, the provincial competitions are organised by Synchro Quebec. There are three different events to accomplish at the competition. First, you need to do a flexibility test that will count for 30% of your results. Second, you will present 2 to 4 figures in front of judges depending on your level. Finally, all the athletes present their routine in front of the judges; there are solo, duo, combo and team routines. Figure and routine will count for 70% of results. 
In the USA, there are four levels that are determined by skill level: novice (beginners), intermediate, age group (advanced), and masters (over the age of 20). Within these levels, are groups according to age: 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15, 16-17, and 18-19. During a competition, there can be two to three events to accomplish. During the figure test, you will need to perform four figures that vary from competition to competition and level to level in front of a panel of judges. The four judges will each give you a score from 1-10. The scores from each panel are averaged and added up. The results from the figure test are 50% of your team's final routine score. The next event is routines, where you present your routine to the judges. There are four different types, solo (one swimmer), duet (two swimmers), trio (three swimmers) and team (four to eight swimmers). Since the more people you have in a routine, the harder it is to synchronize, in a team routine, a point will be added for each swimmer. Each routine has a certain length and certain elements that need to be included according to your age and skill level. Occasionally, a large competition will have a flexibility test. For each team member who passes the test, a point will be added to the routine's final score.
Equipment[change | edit source]
To practice synchronized swimming, athletes need a swimsuit for training, a black suit for the figure test and a routine suit for each routine competition that fits with the music. For example, if an athlete is swimming a duet and a team routine, she will need two different competition swimsuits. Also, they will need goggles and bathing cap for trainings. These are not allowed for routine competition, only for the figure test. Only a white or black bathing cap can be worn at the figure test, because the objective is to not recognise athletes. To keep hair up on their head during the routine competition, athletes make a bun that is held by bobby pins and edible gelatin. Girls put on make-up that fits with their swimsuits. 
Finally, it’s very important for synchronized swimming athletes to train. Training can consolidate muscle endurance, cardio endurance and increase flexibility. It allows a better performance during competitions. Trainings are frequent and very demanding; girls need to be at their best in competition because only few points can determine the first and the second place.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: synchronized swimming|
- http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natation_synchronis%C3%A9e , "Natation synchronisée". Wikipedia . October 13 2004
- http://www.olympic.org/fr/natation-synchronisee-equipement-et-histoire?tab=Histoire, "Natation synchronisée équipement et Histoire", Olympic.
- http://www.synchroquebec.com/index.aspx?lang=fr, "Renseignements importants", Fédération de nage synchronisée du Québec.
- http://www.olympic.org/fr/natation-synchronisee-equipement-et-histoire?tab=equipement, "Natation synchronisée équipement et Histoire", Olympic