Artistic (Synchronized) Swimming


Sep 7, 2020
Hi everyone !

Though I read all of you since a couple years, it's my first message here. I've been following figure skating for years, and like most of you, I was waiting for JGPs to start the season but let's talk about the main subject here, my first love, Artistic Swimming.

As I saw there was a thread for Artistic Gymnastics, why not opening one for Artistic Swimming :)

Like gymnastics, artistic swimming has many similarities with figure skating. An appreciative artistic sport with jugde giving marks and a judging system that has changed quite a lot following scandals.. Like figure skating, there are 2 programs for most of the categories, a short program with elements to realize, called "technical routine", and a long program without, called "free routine". We also had something silimar to compulsory elements called the "figures" that still exists for younger age categories but no longer for senior category. And since 2015, it is officially mixed, with a special category called "mixed duet" with one female and one male competing together.

In fact, the biggest difference is that ice has melted :laugh:

More seriously, a big difference is the popularity/coverage. Except few sport channels that broadcast main competitions, artistic swimming has always suffered a lack of coverage.
For instance, here in France like in many countries, we get to see synchro on main TV channels once every 4 years during Olympics and that's all, while every major figure skating event is been partly broadcasted (usually the 2 last groups of some of the free programs of Europeans, Worlds, and GP of France).

Also, the international federation, the FINA, only started broadcasting World championships and "series" (kind of world cup events) 2 years ago, when the ISU is doing so for decades.. And when it comes to continental championships (we have championships for every continent and no four continent thing while it's an interesting idea), we can only count on generous people of youtube because there is a different federation for every continent which usually doesn't provide any feed to watch the competition...

The synchro community as well is less important and less active than other artistic sports communities.. Unlike gymnastics and skating, synchro never had big international forums dedicated and most of the "local" forums are dying. We have almost no specialized website who share results and info on the sport... And we don't have an active videos fanbase that trade full competition videos files or broadcast lot of videos from old competitions on the internet...

For example, if you go to youtube, you will find videos of world and european championships of the decade, but it becomes very difficult to find even finals from championships older than 2002. We don't even have complete finals of 2004 Olympics, as if it was 50 years ago ! That's crazy... And sad. Many of us all looking for this videos but we do believe most of them are lost forever. I brought my piece to the building by uploading few videos from 1998 that I had, but we lack most of the performances of the 2002 and before, even winning performances (and yes, Russia dominates here too) !

My purpose for this thread is to share anything about the sport and answering any of your questions but also to fill a tiny bit the gap and well, if any of you have or find in their old recordings or their relatives some videos, don't hesitate to share them on video plateforms, to help us recover our lost history...

Waiting for your questions and any information, comment or personnal history you'd like to share about this sport,
Have a nice day ! :)