Why do they smile all the time?
The smiles that you see on the faces of synchronized swimmers are meant to deceive the audience into believing that the performance is easy. If the routine is done to serious or ominous sounding music you won’t see any smiles, but if the music is upbeat and fun those smiles are meant to enhance the liveliness of the routine.
Do they use the bottom of the pool?
No, they do not touch the bottom of the pool at any time during a routine. It is against the rules, and a two point deduction will be given if they do. The water during a competition is a minimum of 9 feet deep. The swimmers create the illusion of standing on their feet or hands because they are so proficient at the techniques of eggbeatering and sculling. A lift is done by raising the body of one or more swimmers up to or above the surface of the water. Swimmers execute lifts with only their body strength.
Why do they do those poses on deck at the beginning of a routine?
Deckwork is the movement or pose that the athletes perform on the deck once the music starts and before entering the water. The deckwork sets the mood of the routine, can only be 10 seconds in length, and does not factor into the final score.
How do they keep their hair in place?
The stuff in their hair is unflavored Knox gelatin. It is applied as a warm, thick paste and hardens while air-drying. It stays hard in the cold water of the pool, and is washed out in very hot water following the competition.
Are their eyes open underwater? Can they wear goggles?
No goggles are allowed during competition, although they are usually worn at practice. Synchro swimmers perform with their eyes open at all times underwater. By seeing their teammates, they are able to make corrections to alignment and set up for specific moves in their routine. When spinning upside down, synchro swimmers need to see so that they can spot the pool walls, just like a figure skater, dancer or diver would, to count rotations.
How do they keep water out of their nose?
The noseclip is the most important piece of equipment for synchro swimmers. Although it may look strange, the noseclip is vital, because it keeps water out of the athlete’s nose during the upside-down movements and also allows the swimmer to stay underwater for longer periods of time. Swimmers always carry an extra noseclip in their suit in case the one they are wearing gets knocked off during a routine.
How long can a swimmer stay underwater?
In a five minute routine, a synchronized swimmer may spend up to a minute underwater without coming up for air…and as much as 3 ½ minutes cumulative under water. At the same time they are working hard with their arms and legs to suspend themselves in the water, frequently upside down.
Elite level synchronized swimmers can swim more than 75 meters underwater without coming up for air!
How much time do synchro swimmers spend in training?
It varies depending on the level of the swimmer. The more advanced you get, the more time is required, and the more different types of training are involved. The US Olympic Team trains eight hours a day, six days a week, and the US National Teams and Junior National Teams train nearly as much. That time is split between many activities including in-water training, dance classes, aerobic and anaerobic training, weight training and running.