Artistic swimming is like dancing in the water! It is a hybrid of swimming, dancing and gymnastics that involves artistic moves being performed in the water to music. Athletes will choose a theme or story and choreograph a routine to music to show off strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance. While competing, athletes wear decorated swim suits, make up and gelatin in their hair to fully become in character and portray the theme. Judges mark routines on Artistic Impression, Difficulty and Technical Merit.
There is more to synchronized swimming than meets the eye. Synchronized Swimming is a wonderful combination of gymnastics, dance and swimming that demands endurance, strength, flexibility, grace, artistry and exceptional breath control. This sport may look effortless, but these athletes practice long hours to enable them to perform strenuous movements underwater and upside down and achieve split-second timing – all the while holding their breath and continuously smiling.
Synchronized swimming was an exhibition sport at the Olympic Games from 1948 to 1968 and did not make its full medal event debut until the 1984 games in Los Angeles. At the Olympic level the sport is open to the duet and team events, while the National, Provincial and Regional levels may compete also in figures and solo, both individual events. All routine events are performed to music within a time limit.
Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required by performing difficult routines in front of judges. Athletes perform individual figures, technical Synchro specific skills, in front a panel of 5 judges, while their routine performances are judged by a panel of artistic and technical judges who award them marks out of a possible 10. For more information about synchronized swimming, view the Synchro Canada Corporate video.
Rules and regulations can be found in Ontario Artistic Swimming Provincial Rulebook.
For more information about artistic swimming, check out the following resources:
- Ontario Artistic Swimming
- Canada Artistic Swimming
- Artistic Swimming @ Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Watch the artistic (synchronized) swimming routines from Canada, Ukraine, ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and China from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. ROC won gold, China won silver and Ukraine won the bronze medal. Canada placed 6th: