For the twelve years following the sport’s induction into the schedule, only three countries won all the medals at Olympic events – the USA, Japan and Canada.
There’s something deliciously retro about synchronised swimming – it’s impossible to think of the intricate displays or look at the improbably fixed makeup and hairstyles without bringing to mind the rictus grins of the Stepford Wives. Incredibly, though, despite its’ retro credentials, the sport was not officially included in the Summer Olympic schedule until 1984.
Since 2000, however, Russia has emerged as a powerhouse country, taking gold in all the Olympic duet and team games since the millennium.
But let’s face it. The medals aren’t the reason synchronised swimming is so stylishly kitsch. It’s the improbable combination of heavy make-up in water, rictus grins and hair caps that give it such an edge of glamour.
Join us in celebrating what is undeniably the Olympics’ campest sport.