Synchronized swimming, or ‘synchro’ is a blend of swimming, coordinated acrobatics, and dance. This requires extreme coordination, flexibility, endurance, and breath control.
One of the two women-only sports, synchronised swimming is extremely challenging, and harder than it looks. An important part of the Summer Olympics since the 1984 games, this event has never failed to amaze and excite its spectators.
Technique really matters
There are four different categories: Solo event, Duet event, Team event, and Combination event. They are judged on a scale of 100 by 10 different judges. The score is given on the basis of technical execution and synchronization.
Here are the key challenges of this sport:
#1 Time management
This game has a time limit, and it is essential to stick to the allocated time to avoid penalties. The ideal time slot ranges from half a minute to five minutes, and points are subtracted if the players take even few seconds over or under.
Another interesting fact is that the first ten seconds before beginning the performance are allotted for the deck work. During this time, the players get into the right mood for their actual performance before elegantly entering the pool.
But guess what? This part of the routine doesn’t carry any points.
#2 No contact with the bottom of the pool
Synchro swimmers are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool at any point in time during their performance. Instead, they have to continuously float in the water to avoid penalties and disqualification.
The game requires a lot of stamina and endurance. The performance involves players lifting each other, sculling to stay afloat, doing flips and twists, and getting into pointed-toe positions, all without touching the pool bottom.
#3 A big no to water goggles and bikinis
The players have to continuously go up and down in the water and keep their eyes wide open to see their path, but they can’t use any glasses from preventing water from getting in their eyes.Water goggles are forbidden in synchro swimming.
However, the players are allowed to use nose clips to hold their breath underwater. Rules around swimming suits are also strict. Hence, players are expected to wear swimwear that cover them completely. The International Aquatics Federation disallows skimpy costumes and string bikinis.