Synchronised Swimming

Synchronised Swimming- A short history

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.

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".

The competitive aspect was developed around the same time when Frank Havlicek, a student of Katherine Curtis, drew up a set of rules.

Synchronised Swimming at the Games

Synchronised Swimming has featured at the Games since London 1948.

The sport did not achieve medal status until Los Angeles 1984.

How to play

Synchronised Swimming is sometimes called ‘water ballet’, as competitors perform short routines to music in the pool. Routines are judged on technical merit and artistic impression.

Synchronised Swimming demands advanced water skills, great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater.

Athletes use nose clips to help them stay underwater for longer, while underwater speakers help them to stay synchronised.

The two events are for women only: Duet (for pairs) and Team (for groups of eight).