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Synchronized

Women’s events



Synchronised swimming is a relatively new discipline that has its origins in water acrobatics. It is hugely popular in the United States.

Glass tank performer

At the turn of the 20th century, Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer, toured the United States performing water acrobatics. Her shows proved very popular and a sport was born.

Performing with music

The sport was developed further by Katherine Curtis, who had the idea of combining water acrobatics with music. Her students performed at the 1933-34 Chicago "Century of Progress" Fair, where the announcer, former Olympic swimming gold medallist Norman Ross, coined the term "synchronised swimming".

Hollywood glamour

Synchronised swimming was later popularised by American film star Esther Williams, who performed water ballet in several American movies. The competitive aspect was developed around the same time when Frank Havlicek, a student of Katherine Curtis, drew up a set of rules.

Olympic history

A relatively recent discipline, synchronised swimming became an Olympic sport for the first time in Los Angeles in 1984, with solo and duet events. These events also took place at the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul and in 1992 in Barcelona. Atlanta replaced them in 1996 by a water ballet for eight people. Since the 2000 Olympic Games, the Olympic programme has included the team event and the duet. 
Alongside rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming is the only exclusively female Olympic sport.

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Synchronized Swimming's first Olympics

A relatively recent discipline, synchronized swimming became an Olympic sport for the first time in Los Angeles in 1984, with solo and duet events.

Team USA athlete Tracie Ruiz-Conforto was the biggest name in the sports debut, having won the Olympic gold medal in both the solo and duet competition. In the duet competition Canada and Japan completed the podium in second and third, respectively. Meanwhile in the solo competition, it was Carolyn Waldo from Canada and Miwako Motoyoshi who won the silver and bronze medals.

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Synchronised Swimming review - Russia dominates

London 2012 - The Russian Team held on to their Olympic title with a score of 197.030 - three points clear of silver medallists China, and nearly four above bronze medallists Spain. But the European team has pledged to rival Russia in the future.
IOC
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Synchronised Swimming review - in pictures

London 2012 - The Russian Team held on to their Olympic title with a score of 197.030 - three points clear of silver medallists China, and nearly four above bronze medallists Spain. But the European team has pledged to rival Russia in the future.
IOC
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Russia keep tight grip on Synchronised Swimming Team gold

London 2012 - Reigning Olympic Synchronised Swimming champions Russia held on to their title today, winning gold in the Team event. The squad clinched victory with a combined score of 197.030 for their Technical and Free routines, both set to music by Denis Garnizov.
IOC
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Russian gold in Synchro Duets final

London 2012 - Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina continued Russian domination of Synchronised Swimming with gold in the Duets at the Aquatics Centre. The Russian duo performed a haunting routine inspired by horror films Surprisia and Sleepy Hollow.
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Korean sisters clinch last qualifying spot

London 2012 - Sisters Park Hyunha and Park Hyunsun of South Korea receive scores high enough to secure a place in the synchronized swimming duets final
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