Synchronised swimming

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Synchronized swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, trios, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. Synchronized swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater.

Olympic and World Championship competition is not open to men, but other international and national competitions allow male competitors. Both USA Synchro and Synchro Canada allow men to compete with women. - Most European countries allow men to compete also, France even allows male only podiums, according to the number of participants.

Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Swimmers perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free, as well as age group routines and figures.

Synchronized swimming is governed internationally by FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation).

Contents

History

At the turn of the 20th century, synchronized swimming was known as water ballet. The first recorded competition was in 1891 in Berlin, Germany. Many swim clubs were formed around that time, and the sport simultaneously developed within several countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the USA. As well as existing as a sport, it often constituted a popular addition to Music Hall evenings, in the larger variety theatres of London or Glasgow which were equipped with huge on-stage water tanks for the purpose.

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