Synchronized swimming was developed from water ballet. In 1939 the first Synchronized Swimming contest was held. It was between Wright Junior College and the Chicago Teacher's College. The Amateur Athletic Union of the U.S. found out about the sport of Synchronized Swimming in 1941. Then in 1955 in Mexico City the sport became an event in the Pan American Games. The first time it was in the Olympic games was in 1984 in Los Angeles.
In synchronized swimming, the athletes that are competing do dance moves in the water that have been choreographed to music. The people that are competing have to have good body strength and grace.
A team consists of 8 members. There is also a solo and a duet competition version of the sport. The swimmers are graded on their performance by a panel of judges on a scale from 0 to 10. The score is based on the accuracy, the timing, height, stability, and control over the figures they make.
routine the swimmers have to do a list of elements, a combination of figures,
and different swimming strokes. They have to be in a special order. There is
also a time when the swimmers get to create their own strokes and figures.
In the Olympics
Three events are currently recognized internationally in synchronized swimming: solo, duet and team (eight swimmers). The competitive rules and manner of judging are similar to such sports as figure skating and gymnastics. In the 1996 Olympics, the team event replaced solo and duet competition, which had been a part of the Olympic program since 1984. However, duets will be reintroduced for the 2000 Olympic Games.
The technical routine has required elements that must be performed in a series. Teams can choose their own music and add additional choreography but cannot perform elements out of order. Time length is 2:50.
In the free
routine, there are no restrictions on music and choreography.
The routine can be no longer than five minutes, plus or minus 15 seconds. A
panel of 10 judges award points from 0 to 10 in one-tenth point increments.
Five judges award points for technical merit and five judges evaluate artistic
impression. The technical merit score has three major components: execution
(the perfection of swimming strokes, propulsion techniques, figures and transitions,
and the precision of patterns), synchronization (the ability to match one swimmer
with the other and to move with the music), and difficulty (the amount of airborne
weight extended above the surface of the water, the complexity and multiplicity
of the movements, the strength required, the length of time movements, particularly
underwater time) The artistic impression score also has three components: choreography
(the variety and creativity of movements, transitions, fluidity, patterns, and
pool usage), music interpretation (the use of movement to interpret the mood
and feeling of the music, its dynamics and rhythms, and manner of presentation
(the poise and confidence with which the routine is presented, the ability to
communicate through the choreography, and the seeming
effortlessness of the performance). The highest and lowest of the scores awarded
in each category are canceled and the remaining scores averaged. The technical
merit total is multiplied by six (6) and the Artistic Impression score by four
(4). The total of these two equals the final routine score.
Anna Kozlova is one the most accomplished synchronized swimmers today.