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Artistic swimming

Artistic swimming developed by combining water acrobatics with music. Although the first contests were organised for men, artistic swimming later became more associated with women. After a number of demonstrations in the US in the early 20th century, the discipline grew in popularity and the first competitions were organised.

Brief overview of the rules

At the Olympic Games, the sport consists of two events: one in a duet, and another as part of a team of eight athletes. Each event includes two performances: a free routine and a technical routine. A panel of judges scores athletes’ execution and synchronisation, as well as the degree of difficulty, use of music and choreography. The athletes perform in a 3m deep, 25m long and 20m wide pool.

The swimmers need to propel themselves up out of the water to perform certain movements or pivot with the upper half of their bodies underwater. The discipline therefore requires great flexibility, power, attention to detail and coordination on the part of the athletes.

Olympic history

Artistic swimming became an Olympic discipline at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games. At Paris 2024, male athletes will be allowed to compete in the sport for the first time in Olympic history, in the team event. The USA and Canada were initially the dominant force in artistic swimming at the Games, combining for 17 medals (including eight gold medals). Since the Sydney 2000 Game, the Russian Olympic Committee has become the top National Olympic Committee in the sport, winning 12 consecutive gold medals.

Events in 2024

The artistic swimming events will take place between the 5th and the 10th of August.

  • Free duets
  • Technical duets
  • Finale duets
  • Free teams
  • Technical teams

Venue in 2024

International organisation

International federation : Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)

© Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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