What is the history of artistic swimming?
The first documented competition of synchronized swimming took place in Germany in the late 1800s, where it was initially referred to as water ballet due to the graceful movements performed underwater. Quickly after the first performance was seen, the sport took off, becoming a popular theater show where routines were performed in glass tanks on stages.
In 1924, the first artistic swimming performance took place in North America. Shortly after this, more individuals became interested in both watching and participating in the sport, and synchronized swimming became popularized in the United States.
Artistic swimming at the Olympic Games
The first time artistic swimming was demonstrated at the Summer Games was in 1952, but it wasn’t until 1984 that it officially became an Olympic sport. The first two events were women’s solo and women’s duet; in 1996 both were removed and replaced with the women’s team event. The duet event returned in 2000 and continues today.
Only 7 nations have competed medaled in the events, with Russia dominating the competition; they have won 10 gold medals, which is twice as much as the United States. Japan holds the most overall medals, with 4 silver and 10 bronze.
What are the current Olympic artistic swimming events?
There are currently two events: women’s duet and women’s team.