What is Synchronised Swimming

Synchronised swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics performed by either one, two or a team of swimmers to music. The first recorded competition was in 1891 but it was not introduced into the Olympics until 1984. Historically the top countries have come from America and Europe.

Solo Routines

Despite many believing that synchronised swimming cannot be performed by one competitor, the solo competition is for one swimmer only, who synchronises herself to the music.

Duet Routines

Two swimmers take part in the duet. During the routine they will do movements identically, in mirror image of each other and perform links and lifts.

Team Routines

Usually the most exciting of the competitions, the eight swimmers in the water will do movements together, half and half, they will make intricate shapes and floats and throw one or two of their members out of the water.

All three disciplines have two sections. Much like figure skating, the athletes are asked to choreograph a technical routine, which must include elements set by FINA the governing body, and a free routine that is totally the athletes own design.


This is a relatively new discipline in synchronised swimming that has up to 10 swimmers in the water. During the course of the routine there will be anything from 1 up to all 10 swimmers performing.

This is a bit more of a performance piece and can look like a ballet or stage show in many ways with swimmers making a frame around the performers.