Olympic Sports >> Synchronized swimming

Synchronized swimming

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THE TWO EVENTS

  • Women: Duo, ballet

THE FORMAT

The duo: In the preliminary round, the pairs put on two routines, a technical one and a free one. The best 12 pairs go through to a final round where only the free routine is practiced as the score from the first round technical routine is added to the final round score.

In the ballet, there are eight teams of eight, who compete in a one round event. All teams present both a technical and a free routine.

MILESTONES

1891

First water ballet competition, with male competitors, is held in Berlin.

1907

Australian Annette Kellerman triumphs in New York with her water dancing show in a glass tank. Synchronised swimming is launched.

1934

At the Universal Exhibition in Chicago "The Modern Mermaids", a group of 60 swimmers, enthrall visitors, helping popularise the sport.

1940's

In the cinema, Esther Williams appears in a number of musical water comedies, of which the famous "Million Dollar Mermaid" is a tribute to the life of Annette Kellerman.

1952

Synchronised swimming features as a demonstration sport at the Olympics for the first time in Helsinki. It remains a demonstration sport for the following Olympiads.

1984

Synchronised swimming makes its competitive Olympic debut, with two events featuring on the programme - duo and solo. The Americans win both gold medals.

1992

Last appearance of the solo event at the Barcelona Games.

1996

A single event features in Atlanta: ballet.

2000

Ballet continues and the duo event returns at the Sydney Games.

STARS

Carolyn Waldo (Canada)

All-rounder. At the Los Angeles Games of 1984 she managed a silver medal in the solo event. Four years later, she won two golds, one in the solo and a second along with Michelle Cameron in the duo. She also won three world titles at the 1986 championships, lifting solo, duo and team gold for Canada.

Karen and Sarah Josephson (United States)

Golden twins. At the Barcelona Games in 1992, these American twin sisters added Olympic gold to their world title of 1991, having been unbeaten since the 1988 Olympics where they took silver.


Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.