Synchronized swimming

Synchronised swimming (in Modern International English, synchronized swimming) or artistic swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers performing a synchronised routine (either solo, duet, trio, mixed duet, free team, free combination, and highlight) of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Synchronised swimming is governed internationally by FINA, and has been part of the Summer Olympics programme since 1984.

Synchronized swimming
Russian synchronized swimming team, May 2007
Highest governing bodyFINA
NicknamesSynchro
Characteristics
TypeAquatics
Presence
OlympicPart of the Summer Olympic program since 1984

Synchronised swimming demands advanced water skills, great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Swimmers perform two routines for judges, one technical and one free, as well as age group routines and figures. Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. Figures are made up of a combination of skills and positions that often require control, strength, and flexibility. Swimmers are ranked individually for this part of the competition. The routine involves teamwork and synchronisation. It is choreographed to music and often has a theme.

Since the 20th century, synchronised swimming has predominantly been considered a women's sport, with the Summer Olympics only featuring women's duet and team events. However, international, national and regional competitions may allow men to compete, and FINA introduced a new mixed duet competition at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. On instruction of the IOC, FINA renamed the sport from "synchronized swimming" to "artistic swimming" in 2017—a decision that has faced controversy.[1]