Swimming discipline that demands artistry as opposed to speed.
Competitors, either individual (solo) or in pairs, perform rhythmic routines to music, which include difficult but graceful movements called “stunts,” similar to diving positions. Points are awarded for interpretation and style, and stunt performance (multiplied by a degree of difficulty scale as in diving). It was introduced into the Olympic swimming program in 1984.
Synchronized swimming is a form of “ballet” performed in and under water. Underwater swimming developed with the invention of such equipment as flippers, snorkel, and self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). See also diving. Swimming has been included in the Olympic Games since 1896 for men and 1912 for women. The world championships were introduced in 1973, later held in 1975 and 1978 and every four years since.