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Image by Johanna Steppan


Artistic swimming, formerly known as synchronized swimming, is a hybrid form of swimming, dance, and gymnastics. Swimmers perform a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music. 

Artistic swimming is a popular sport in Colorado, with many swim teams competing at the youth and adult levels. USA Artistic Swimming is the national governing body for the sport.

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?

Synchronized swimming is a unique sport that demands advanced water skills, great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, and precise timing. Competitors show off the power, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform complex routines.


Synchronized swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. The synchronized swimming team is a group of athletes who train together and perform routines in unison. This requires incredible coordination, timing, and synchronization.


Is artistic swimming an Olympic sport?

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


Competitors may enter solo, duet, and team events. A synchronized swim team consists of up to eight swimmers, who perform a synchronized routine.

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.

Image by Raj Rana

How old should new swimmers be?

Starting age for artistic swimming can be flexible, and it depends on the swimmer's ability to comfortably swim in deep water without assistance for multiple minutes and to swim short lap workouts. However, please note that the ability of individual clubs to work with brand-new swimmers may vary based on their available coaching resources.

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