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Synchronized Swimming by erikahfit

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· @erikahfit ·
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Synchronized Swimming
Synchronized swimming  is a sport I've always admired for the show the women are presenting to viewers. It's a sport but I'd say it's more like a water ballet. 

![SyncSwim_BeyondTheWater.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmcJEawqo4weRjP3QYVzVRvQ1ZEzAEGfvEAsAWyKKD3Rw1/SyncSwim_BeyondTheWater.jpg)
[source](https://www.myactivesg.com/Sports/Aquatics/How-To-Play/Synchronised-Swimming/Beyond-the-water-in-Synchronised-Swimming-Music-costume-make-up)

Since 2017 officially  it's called artistic swimming and it's a combination between swimming, dance, and gymnastics. As I mentioned before, it's a show and the most colorful and  entertaining.  It's part of the Summer Olympics programsince 1984. 

>Synchronised swimming demands advanced water skills, requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. [source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronised_swimming)

![dc66bc5a71444e0bb731019ab8d3bc37.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmRRhqK3pNbE5oFneeD73VBHReLj1rMNYz3xWq4bkEjtfG/dc66bc5a71444e0bb731019ab8d3bc37.jpg)
[source](https://tnimage.taiwannews.com.tw/photos/shares/AP/20170721/dc66bc5a71444e0bb731019ab8d3bc37.jpg)

It may look like a new sport because it was excepted into the Olympic games only in 1984, but it's not new. The first recorded competition in fact took place in 1891 in Berlin, Germany. Can you believe it? I don't know about you but I would have loved to see a performance from those times and the swimming suits as well. 

The sport started to spread quickly, in In 1907 the Australian woman called Annette Kellerman  performed in a glass tank as an underwater ballerina. It must have been a very big deal back then. 

![000_1IQ31N.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQme4V15J4PgWgq6AqEhqg2P5WNUWf1doyCwoDFqvJwPSE1/000_1IQ31N.jpg)
[source](https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-first-israels-synchronized-swimming-team-reaches-world-championship-final/)

>After experimenting with various diving actions and stunts in the water, Katherine Curtis started one of the first water ballet clubs at the University of Chicago, where the team began executing strokes, "tricks," and floating formations. On May 27, 1939, the first U.S. synchronised swimming competition took place at Wright Junior College between Wright and the Chicago Teachers' College. [source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronised_swimming)


To tell you the truth, up until now, the moment of writing I knew very little about synchronized swimming. I knew it can be done by two, three, four or more people and that I've only seen women, never men. I thought this is for women only because of its nature. But I was wrong. I started to dig into it and look what I've found. 

>In the late 19th century, synchronised swimming was a male-only event. However, in the 20th century it became a women's sport, with men banned from many competitions. In the U.S., men were allowed to participate with women until 1941, when synchronised swimming became part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The AAU required men and women to compete separately, which resulted in a decline of male participants. In the 1940s and 1950s, Bert Hubbard and Donn Squire were among the top US male competitors.
In 1978, the U.S. changed their rules to allow men to once again compete with women. Rules in other countries varied; in the UK, men were prohibited from competing until 2014, while in France, Benoît Beaufils was allowed to competed at national events in the 1990s. American Bill May was a top competitor in the late-1990s and early-2000s. He medalled in several international events, including the 1998 Goodwill Games. However, male competitors were barred from top competitions, including the World Aquatics Championships and the Olympics. However, at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, FINA introduced a new mixed duet discipline. Both May and Beaufils returned from decade-long retirements to represent their countries.[8] Among their competitors were Russian Aleksandr Maltsev and Italian Giorgio Minisini, both over 15 years younger than May and Beaufils. Pairs from ten countries competed in the inaugural events.[10][better source needed] The 2016 European Aquatics Championships was the first time men were allowed to compete at the European Championships. While men are allowed in more events, they were still barred from competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics. FINA did propose adding the mixed duet competition to the 2020 Summer Olympics. [source](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronised_swimming)

This is very interesting. Why were men banned from many competitions? "In the UK, men were prohibited from competing until 2014" This is a bit shocking. I would understand if there were no male teams due to lack of interest but to ban men is strange. Good thing people have woken up, rules have changed and men are allowed to compete now.

![cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwu5ogmwzgfinwuwmjnlnda4mgy3yjczyjqzm2i0mjyw.jpeg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmda83PxrnDe6oeHW8ArhBguJJVZRw47fF9yoQ6BnXZ46j/cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwu5ogmwzgfinwuwmjnlnda4mgy3yjczyjqzm2i0mjyw.jpeg)
[source](https://nbcolympictalk.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwu5ogmwzgfinwuwmjnlnda4mgy3yjczyjqzm2i0mjyw.jpeg?w=768&h=432&crop=1)

On the photo you can see Bill May who is the first man to win World Synchronized Swimming Championship. He must have been thrilled to make history for sure. 

I have a great respect for these athletes. I don't know how hard it is to perform in the water and do these synchronized moves but I think it's not easy at all. You have to be fit, know to swim very well and synchronize your moves with your partner or teammates and do all of that with a big smile on your face as that's also part of the show.
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