This history of synchronized swimming began when the art of synchronized swimming branched off from the similar sport of water ballet. While water ballet focused on a few swimmers dancing in the water, synchronized swimming involves a group of 8 swimmers who dance together in unison. This synchronization of the 8 swimmers is choreographed to ensure that each swimmer moves along with the other swimmers to appear like one body instead of several individual dancers.
The First Debut The art and sport combination of synchronized swimming had it’s first official contest in 1939. The first competition was held between the two colleges of Chicago Teacher’s College and Wright Junior College. In 1941, the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States discovered and recognized the sport. It wasn’t until 1955, however, that the Pan American Games created an event for the sport.
The Olympics It was not until 45 years after the first official synchronized swimming contest, that the sport was featured as an Olympic event. Synchronized swimming debuted in the Olympic games during the summer of 1984, when the games were held in Los Angeles, California. Over the years since the sport has been included in the Olympics, the events have changed. Three events in the sport exist, including events for solos or duets, instead of the traditional 8-member team. From 1996 to 2000, the only event was for 8-member teams, but since 2000 solo swimmers and duets have been reinstated as part of the Olympic games.
Accomplished Athletes As the sport of synchronized swimming continues to grow among both male and female swimmers, professionals emerge from the depths to become well-known and accomplished synchronized swimmers. One such synchronized swimming celebrity is Anna Kozlova who currently holds more than 17 national titles including many she claimed in Olympic events.