Australia and Olympic Synchronised Swimming
Donella Burridge represented Australia when synchronised swimming debuted at the Los Angeles Games in 1984 and placed 12th in the solo event. At the Sydney Games Australia qualified a team as host nation and placed eighth. In Beijing 2008, Australia qualified a team for the first time (other than Sydney 2000), finishing seventh. The duet of Erika Leal-Ramirez and Myriam Glez also competed, finishing 21st.
Australia was again represented in London with both a duet and team competing at the 2012 Games. Australia’s team finished eighth with Eloise Amberger and Sarah Bombell also claiming 23rd in the duet competition.
At the turn of the 20th century, Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer, toured the United States performing water acrobatics. Her shows proved very popular and a sport was born.
Synchronised swimming became an Olympic sport in Los Angeles 1984 and it is now one of two sports on today’s Olympic program to be contested only by women. The other is Rhythmic Gymnastics.
The sport debuted with solo and duet events and remained like this for three Olympics (Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992) until they were replaced by an eight-woman team event in Atlanta 1996. Sydney 2000 saw the duet return to the Olympic program to join the team event.
Swimmers perform routines in the water and are marked for both their technical merit and artistic impression.
Swimmers require incredible strength, flexibility, grace, artistry and long underwater endurance. To stay longer underwater athletes use nose clips to prevent an intake of water through the nostrils. Underwater speakers transmit the music into the pool, helping the swimmers keep their synchronisation and choreography while underwater.