Synchronized swimming


Originally called "water ballet," synchronized swimming made its first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Seemingly effortless, synchronized swimmers must exhibit strength, endurance, flexibility and breath control, while keeping a smile on their faces.
Basics :
Originally called "water ballet," synchronized swimming made its first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Seemingly effortless, synchronized swimmers must exhibit strength, endurance, flexibility and breath control, all while keeping a smile on their faces.
During routines, swimmers perform dance and acrobatic movements to music, and are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool at any point. Wearing make-up on their faces and gelatin in their hair, they also usenose-clips to help them breathe. Special underwater speakers are used so the swimmers can keep count in their routine at all times.
There are two events in synchronized swimming: duet and team, and both events include a technical and free routine.

Team :
Eight nations will compete in the team event at the 2008 Games. Team competition consists of nine athletes performing a technical routine together followed by a free routine. The scores from each routine are combined to determine the final rankings.

Duet :

There will be 24 nations competing in the duet event at the 2008 Games. Like the team event, duets must perform both a technical and free routine, however a preliminary round of both narrows the field to 12 duets. In the final round, athletes must perform their free routine again, the result of which will be combined with the score from the technical routine in the preliminary round to determine the team's final ranking.

Technical Routine :

The technical routine focuses on how accurately athletes execute certain elements of the sport.
Team :

A technical routine requires the execution of nine require elements within the time limit of 2 minutes, 50 seconds. Teams can perform to the music of their choice. The score from the technical routine accounts for 50 percent o the overall ranking.




Duet :

The first phase of the preliminary round, duets must execute eight required elements within the time limit of two minutes, 20 seconds. Duets can perform to the music of their choice. The score from the technical routine accounts for 50 percent of their preliminary score, and if they advance, 50 percent of their final score.

Free Routine :

The free routine highlights the artistic aspects of the sport, giving athletes the opportunity to take risks and be creative with compositions.

Team :

With a time limit of four minutes, teams can perform a composition of their choice. They are not restricted in terms of music, content or choreography. The free routine accounts for 50 percent of the final rankings.
Duet :
With a time limit of 3 minutes, 30 seconds, duets can perform any listed figures and/or strokes to the music of their choice. Duets generally present the same routine for the final as they do in the preliminary round.
Equipment :

Costume:

The rules of synchronized swimming's governing body (FINA) indicate that costumes must be appropriate for a sporting event and must not be transparent. No other clothing or accessories, including goggles, are allowed unless required for medical reasons. Competitors often wear colorful and tastefully decorated suits with coordinated hair/head adornments. The equivalent of stage makeup is applied to enhance appearances as seen from a distance by the judges and audience. The style of the costumes chosen should work well with the choice of music and style of choreography.

Speakers:
While not an event that lends itself to technological innovation, synchronized swimming does have its basic equipment. Of utmost importance is a set of underwater and poolside loudspeakers that allow swimmers to hear their music and stay in sync, whether submerged or performing with their heads above the surface.
Gelatin:

Hair gel or gelatin is an essential aid to keep swimmers' hair neat and out of the way while performing. The hair is tied back securely and plastered down with some kind of substance.
Noseclip:
A nose clip is a small wire clip sheathed in plastic that prevents water from entering the sinuses during underwater movements. Nose clips, or some apparatus to prevent water from rushing into the nostrils, are essential to synchronized swimmers, who are often inverted and spinning around with their heads submerged for extended periods of time.

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