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Waving not drowning: synchronized swimming for dummies

Posted at 8:30 am, July 11, 2012 in Olympics & Paralympics
Synchronised Swimming © Getty Images

We’ve all been guilty of thinking our underwater handstand was the most graceful thing since sliced bread (when actually we were just flailing our limbs in a desperate attempt not to drown). Synchronised Swimming is definitely one of those sports that is harder than it looks. Here are the finer points of this underwater art…

Converted: Athletes combine grace, artistry and an ability to stay underwater for ages to create London 2012’s literally most breathtaking spectacle.

Confused: Bizarre aquatic clown show with grins so forced they’d make even Gordon Brown cringe.

The basics: Teams consist of two or eight swimmers. They perform a timed routine to music with their performances marked by a panel of 10 judges.

Athlete to watch: Anyone Russian, particularly the team’s 21-year-old rising star Svetlana Romashina.

Not to be confused with: Drowning.

Almost useless fact: In February 2011 a Chinese magician stunned a TV audience of millions, and upset animal rights groups, when he apparently taught six goldfish to do synchronised swimming as part of his act.

For more info, see timeout.com/olympics.

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