Image by Johanna Steppan

FAQ

Artistic swimming (formerly known as synchronized swimming) is a hybrid form of swimming, dance, and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers performing a synchronized routineof elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music.

Why the name change from "synchronized" to "artistic" swimming?

FINA officially renamed the sport from "synchronized swimming" to "artistic swimming" in 2017—a decision that faced mixed reception. However, this brings the sport's name in line with sports like artistic gymnastics with similar athletic requirements.

What skills are needed to compete in artistic swimming?

This unique sport demands advanced water skills, requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. 

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Is artistic swimming an Olympic sport?

Artistic swimming is governed internationally by FINA and has been part of the Summer Olympics program since 1984. 

Who can compete in artistic swimming?

Since the 20th century, synchronized swimming has predominantly been considered a women's sport, with the Summer Olympics only featuring women's duet and team events. However, international, national, and regional competitions may allow swimmers of all genders to compete, and FINA introduced a new mixed duet competition at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

If your swimmer is looking for inspiration, check out Bill May's international-level duet performances. He is one of the men trailblazing the mixed duet event and continues to support the sport as a coach.