At the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016, Russian synchronizers managed to hit the jury with their choreographic skills, skill and unsurpassed artistry and win gold
Synchronized swimming is one of the most attractive and spectacular sports. It’s hard to imagine how much effort the preparation for a competition is worth: female athletes have to perform real miracles on the water in order to win a prize. At the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016, Russian synchronizers managed to hit the jury with their choreographic skills, skill and unsurpassed artistry. But what are the victories worth, and how do girls manage to achieve such impressive results? Was it easy to win gold again? You will learn about this by reading this article.
The main idea of synchronized swimming is the performance on the water with musical accompaniment of various complex shapes.
What is synchronized swimming?
Synchronized swimming is one of the many water sports. The main idea of synchronized swimming is the performance on the water with musical accompaniment of various complex shapes. This sport is considered to be one of the most beautiful and spectacular, because it is important for athletes not only to be able to stay on the water for a long time and have remarkable physical training, but also to demonstrate grace and grace. In addition, you must be able to control your own breathing, because to perform complex shapes you need to be under water for quite a long time.
The competition includes two programs: technical and long. The technical part consists in the execution of a certain set of figures by synchronized artists. In the long program, however, the restrictions are completely absent: synchronized swimmers have the right to fully demonstrate their talents and training.
The rating system in this sport is similar to that adopted in figure skating. That is, both the artistry of synchronization and the technique of the program execution are evaluated.
This sport is considered one of the most beautiful and spectacular.
How did synchronized swimming come about?
Synchronized swimming was "invented" in the 1920s in Canada. At first, this sport was called "ballet on the water." For the first time, it was decided to include synchronized swimming in the program of the Olympiad in 1948: however, at that time it was just a demonstration competition. Synchronized swimming became a full-fledged Olympic discipline only in 1984, when singles and doubles in this beautiful sport took place at the games in Los Angeles.
Despite the fact that synchronized swimming is considered a purely female sport, one of its "founding fathers" is a man. During a trip to England, Benjamin Franklin showed several figures of "ornamental swimming" in the Thames. It is this performance that many sports historians consider the starting point of modern synchronized swimming. By the way, the name of Franklin can be seen in the International Swimming Hall of Fame: the US President has done a lot to popularize water sports.
Only in 1984 did synchronized swimming become a full-fledged Olympic discipline.
The development of synchronized swimming in Russia
In Russia, synchronized swimming appeared in the 1920s. Originally it was called the "artistic swimming". Synchronists performed not only at competitions, but also at the circus arena, striking the audience with their talents and stunning acrobatic etudes on the water. By the way, the debut of the Russian (at that time still Soviet) female athletes was planned for 1984, but the performance did not take place due to the fact that the USSR boycotted the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in response to the boycott of the Soviet Olympics in 1981.
After the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the Russian school of synchronized swimming continued its development. The team won their first victory at the Olympics in 1998 in Australia. Since then, our team invariably wins all the Olympics. The Russian team did not make mistakes for as many as 16 years. It did not happen at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Russian team did not make mistakes for as many as 16 years. It did not happen at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Being a synchronizer: basic requirements
Synchronized athletes have a hard time. After all, they need to not only perfectly master choreography and learn to feel the music, as well as ideally work in a team, but also endure quite impressive loads.
Each performance has a specific theme, which is expressed both by the music and the expressive movements of the girls. Sportswomen demonstrate various patterns on the water, which follow each other, as in a kaleidoscope. The transition from one "picture" to another is carried out when the girls are under water or lie on their backs.
Sometimes athletes have to be under water for several minutes. Therefore, in order to not inhale water accidentally, special clips are used on the nose.
Sportswomen demonstrate various patterns on the water, which follow each other, like in a kaleidoscope
Interesting! During the competition under the water, powerful dynamics are established, thanks to which the synchronized players hear the music throughout their performance and achieve stunning synchrony in the movements.
Russian synchronized in Rio: a clear victory
The national team in synchronized swimming from Russia in 2016 managed to confidently take the first place. The second place was won by the Chinese sportswomen, the third is the team from Japan.
No wonder the judges rated the program so highly. Natalya Ischenko, five-time champion in synchronized swimming, said in an interview that the program in Rio was the best that ever existed. The emotional intensity was so high that at the end of their performance the girls could not hold back their tears. Well, after the results were announced, it became clear that no one could get around Russian athletes, tears of relief were replaced by tears of joy.
Team in synchronized swimming from Russia in 2016 managed to confidently take first place
Bad conditions are not an obstacle to victory!
Unfortunately, bad conditions could prevent the victory: the synchronized swimmers noted that the quality of water in the Olympic pool was not very good. In Brazil, there are no pools equipped with a heating system, so the Russian team had to play in quite difficult conditions. In addition, the sides of the pool were not visible, and therefore it was quite difficult for athletes to navigate.
On top of all the problems, the pool water began to change color: in Rio it was even called the “Shrek Pool”. At first, the organizers diligently denied the obvious, but when the athletes began to actively express their outrage, the water had to be changed. Indeed, it would be difficult to demonstrate the most complicated program in water of green color, which, moreover, produces a rather unpleasant smell.
Synchronized swimming requires incredible exposure of athletes
The water temperature left much to be desired: if the trainings take place at a temperature of 28 degrees, then in the pool the water barely warms up to 25. If you add that the air temperature was only 15 degrees and a strong wind was blowing, it becomes obvious that victory was not easy for Russian women.
Duet: a fairy tale on the water
In the synchronized swimming competition, a duet from Russia in 2016 fell to perform under the seventh number of the starting protocol. Fortunately, the pool at the time of the performance was clean and there was no interference on the way to victory.
It is worth noting that the fans were enchanted by a stunning show, which was as beautiful from an artistic point of view as technically perfect. No other duet could demonstrate such a high tempo, synchronicity and coherence. As a result, the judges put the girls two dozen, and the amount for both programs, technical and arbitrary, amounted to as many as 195 points.
No other duet could demonstrate such a high tempo, synchronicity and coherence.
"Plea": the emotional program of Russian synchronized
The beauty and elegance of the Russian program could not but be noted by rivals. The American team in synchronized swimming in its official account congratulated the athletes, recognizing the undoubted superiority of the Russians in synchronized swimming.
This is not surprising, because the program, full of emotions called Plea, which delighted both the spectators and the judges, has its own history.
The head coach of the team, Tatyana Pokrovskaya, in an interview said that the program was created during the most difficult period. At the age of fifteen, Tatyana's granddaughter passed away. And under the influence of these experiences an amazing performance was created in its depth and emotionality.The beauty and elegance of the Russian program could not fail to note even rivals
Synchronists themselves picked up the right music, and as a result they managed to create a performance during which they literally capture their breath. It should be noted and thoughtful images of athletes: girls 'snow-white angel wings were depicted on the girls' swimsuits, and in fact they seemed to fly over the water, performing the most complex synchronous connectives.
It was possible to surprise the whole world at the synchronized swimming competitions in Russia in 2016: a video with the performance of the athletes gathered a huge amount of views and admiring comments from around the world.
Despite all the difficulties, the girls managed to get around rivals at the 2016 Olympics: synchronized swimming in Russia is still at the highest level.
However, the national team coach admits that she felt very anxious before the performance, because one can never rule out that the performance will not go as we would like. The most difficult moment in the performance of the Russian team was a double support helicopter. Tatyana Pokrovskaya noted that it was not possible to fulfill this element on a solid top five, but the Quartet athletes deserved it. The coach explains this by fatigue and emotional stress. In addition, the duet of Svetlana Romashina and Natalia Ischenko at the Olympics performed without rest, and for many participants of the Olympics team in Rio became the first.
Despite all the difficulties, the girls managed to get around rivals at the 2016 Olympics: synchronized swimming in Russia is still at the highest level
The duo of Russian synchronized Svetlana Romashina and Natalia Ischenko brought Olympic gold. Carry the flag of Russia at the closing of the Olympics in Rio, it was entrusted to these athletes.
However, the joy of victory could not be, because the Russian national team tried to prevent participation in the Olympics because of the outbreak of doping scandal. Nevertheless, representatives of the International Swimming Federation stated that they had no complaints about the synchronized swimmers from Russia, so they were allowed to play at full strength.
Of course, there was an opportunity to cross out several years of training and not to get to the synchronized swimming competition in Rio 2016: Russia was in the “black list” of the International Anti-Doping Committee. Of course, this fact could not scare athletes. The girls reported that they were afraid of provocations: some were even afraid to drink and eat, so as not to accidentally take dope! However, nothing of the kind, fortunately, happened. Beautiful mermaids managed to pass all the pitfalls and get well-deserved gold.
The duet of Russian synchronized Svetlana Romashina and Natalia Ischenko brought Olympic gold
But who knows: maybe the performance would have turned out even more vivid if the athletes had not spent so much energy on the experience because of the possible non-admission to the Olympics?
Interesting facts: the perfect look
Many are interested in the question: how do synchronizers manage to keep make-up and hairstyle while performing the most difficult underwater tricks?
Interestingly, the hairstyle is fixed not only with ordinary hairspray, but also with edible gelatin, which "firmly" glues hair. But the cosmetics used is the most common. However, synchronous drivers have to refuse from mascara: even the most “waterproof” will flow under the water. The nasal clamp is additionally secured with medical glue: otherwise it may fly off during the performance.Interestingly, the hairstyle is fixed not only with ordinary hairspray, but also with edible gelatin, which "firmly" glues hair. But the most common cosmetics used
Russian athletes once again managed to prove to the world their highest qualifications. There is no doubt that for many more years the performances of the national team will serve as an example for synchronists from all over the world.