Spectators have been awed by the grace and power of synchronized swimming since the inception of the sport in the early 1900s. Synchronized swimming requires a unique combination of overall body strength and agility, grace and beauty, split-second timing, musical interpretation, stamina and dramatic flair.
The inaugural synchronized swimming U.S. National Championships were held in 1946, just one year after the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) first recognized the sport. A few years later, the 1955 Pan American Games included synchronized swimming events, and the World Aquatic Championships soon followed. After almost 40 years of concerted effort, synchronized swimming was at last included in the Olympic Games in 1984, with the United States winning the first solo and duet Olympic gold medals.
Three events are currently recognized internationally in synchronized swimming: solo, duet and team (eight swimmers). The competitive rules and manner of judging are similar to such sports as figure skating and gymnastics. In the 1996 Olympics, the team event replaced solo and duet competition, which had been a part of the Olympic program since 1984. However, the overwhelming demand for tickets and broad television appeal of the 1996 team event prompted the IOC to reinstate the duet event for 2000.
U.S. Synchronized Swimming [USSS], also known as USA Synchro, was established as a nonprofit organization in 1979 and is the United States national governing body for the sport. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Committee and FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur) — the international governing federation.
USSS organizes, participates in, and promotes a variety of competitive events each year. These events begin at the local level and continue in the following categories: Age Group (12-19), Junior (15-18), Senior and Masters (20+).
U.S. Synchronized Swimming’s funding comes from a variety of sources including: membership fees, the U.S. Olympic Committee, corporate sponsorship, and private and public donations. The four-person National Office of USA Synchro is located in Indianapolis.