Synchronized swimming powerhouse Quebec is the team to watch during Week Two of the Canada Games. The three-time defending champions will be looking to defend their title with Ontario, British Colombia and Alberta fighting to be in consideration.
There are three synchronized swimming routine events – solo, duet and team. Each team has eight swimmers and often two alternates.
Team routines will include highlights such as teams boosting a swimmer out and up of the water causing her to literally fly through the air and out of the water.
Routines are judged on their technical difficulty and their artistic impression. Judges give them a score out of 10.
Swimmers also compete in ‘figures’ in which everyone does the same one move or ‘figure’ in front of a panel of judges. This is judged only on technical difficulty.
Together the figure score and the team score combine to create a championship score that determines the winner.
Synchronized swimming is a mix of flexibility, core strength, gracefulness and endurance in a sport that is completed while upside down and holding one’s breath.
The strength of one’s lungs makes a great synchronized swimmer.
Synchronized swimmers wear custom-made bathing suits that are designed to complement their routine’s theme. Bathing suits can be made out of anything from yellow leather to black satin and are often have embroidery and glitter.
Hair must be put in a bun and kept in place with Knox gelatin. Yes – they put Jello in their hair! It creates a thin layer and keeps the hair in place and out of one’s face while swimming. Waterproof make-up is worn to help show expressions while in the water.
Synchronized swimming became an Olympic sport in 1984. Canada has the third most medals after Japan and the United States.
The first competition was for men in 1891 and men still swim today. Bill May was a hopeful for the 2004 USA the Olympic team, however, since it now considered a “womens’” sport he was not allowed to compete.
If your going to watch a synchronized swimming event, the competition to see is the Team Finals on Friday February 25 at 17:25 at the Canada Games Centre.