Olympic Sports >> Synchronised swimming

Synchronised swimming

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  • Women: duet, team


  • Duet: The preliminary round consists of a technical routine and a 1st free routine. The top 12 pairs advance to the final, where there is a 2nd free routine. The technical routine score from the preliminary round is added to the 2nd free routine score to give the final marks.
  • Team (8 teams of 8): There is no preliminary round. The 8 teams each perform a technical routine and a free routine.



The first water ballet competition, open to men only, is held in Berlin.


Australian Annette Kellerman enjoys great success with her water dancing show in New York (in a glass tank), and helps to popularise the sport.


At the Chicago World's Fair, visitors are enthralled by "The Kay Curtis Modern Mermaids", a group of 60 swimmers. The term "synchronised swimming" is used for the first time.


Swimmer and actress Esther Williams appears in a number of musical water comedies, including the famous "Million Dollar Mermaid" - a tribute to the life of Annette Kellerman.


Synchronised swimming features as an Olympic demonstration sport for the first time, in Helsinki.


Synchronised swimming makes its Olympic debut, with two events on the programme: solo and duet. The United States win both gold medals.


The final appearance of the solo event at the Barcelona Games.


Only the team event is contested at the Atlanta Games.


The team event continues at the Sydney Games, while the duet is restored.


Carolyn Waldo (Canada)

The all-rounder. After picking up a silver medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, she stormed to a golden double in 1988, winning the solo and the duet (with Michelle Cameron). She also won 3 golds at the 1986 world championship, in the solo, duet and team events.

Karen and Sarah Josephson (United States)

The golden twins. After their silver medal in the women's duet at Seoul 1988, the American twins embarked on a 4-year unbeaten streak in the event, winning the world championship title in 1991 and Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992.

Anastasia Davydova (Russia)

The queen of synchronised swimming. She won 5 Olympic gold medals between 2004 and 2012 (2 in duet and 3 in team), 4 of them alongside her namesake, Anastasia Ermakova, who was forced to end her career before 2012. The remarkable Davydova also won 13 world championship golds and 8 European crowns.

Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.