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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

51

Ravens, Witches, and Swimming Pools

One team wore bathing suits decorated with a picture of what appeared to be an owl dressed in a tuxedo. Another began its routine with the athletes lying, inert, by the side of the pool. And in an homage to the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, a third team, the synchronized swimming duet from Italy, tried to imagine how it might look to descend into madness while performing intricate leg maneuvers upside down in an Olympic swimming pool. “We imagine there is a mirror, and she is getting ready, and then she goes crazy."

In case you missed it on TV, here's a wonderful recap of yesterday's women's synchronized swimming competition. It just keeps getting better ("we pretended to make pistols with our hands"). Here are a few more more pictures of the winning duo.



51 Comments / Post A Comment

solidl

i was there! it was insane! until i read this i hadn't got the foggiest about what was going on at all! but i still loved it!
but the music. the "music". ??? i think my calling in life is to become a DJ for synchronised swimming routines, because dear god those mixes were shite.

milenakent

Simply beautiful. Thank you@n

C_Webb

I'm no longer afraid of sharks. I'm afraid of synchronized swimmers.

C_Webb

@C_Webb OMG SYNCHRONIZED SHARKS

Es
Es

My mother used to do synchronised swimming back in the 1950s - she has been watching these and ranting about how it's changed since her day!

Es
Es

@sudden but inevitable betrayal She was in a troupe that went round the country (the UK) performing at holiday camps and whatnot. This was one of their publicity shots: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lebatihem/7740192012/in/photostream

(my mother is the blonde one who looks like she's growling). (And I can't make that an actual link.)

Their stuff was a lot more about actual swimming in formation and so on, less gymnasticky routines and a whole lot less bizarre.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Es That is really cool. (I also snooped and looked at your pony photos...what a handsome bunch!)

Es
Es

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Snoop away! My ponies are fab.

Ophelia

@Es Unfortunately, now whenever I think of synchronized swimming, I think of the Nuva-Ring commercial. :-/

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Es And the pigs! And the goats! And the babies! Can I come live with you?

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Es And the pigs! And the goats! And the babies! Can I come live with you?

Es
Es

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Yeah, go on then, why the hell not.
@Ophelia Nuvaring? I will go and google...

sudden but inevitable betrayal

OH MY GOD THIS PHOTO

I can't even.

fondue with cheddar

@sudden but inevitable betrayal WHY IS EVERYONE MAKING THE SEX DOLL FACE?

C_Webb

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Seriously. They're like scary-doll-shark-mime-clowns, which is basically all my nightmares in one.

Interrobanged

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I think those are the Canadians? If so, they are supposed to court jesters. According to the paper this morning, their group performance will "shock the judges."

babybuster

@sudden but inevitable betrayal The difference between that picture and this SNL skit is shockingly small: SNL Synchro Swimmers youtube

I'm like 90% sure those "we make pistols with our hands" girls ripped off Martin Short.

PoBoyNation

@babybuster "I'm not that ... strong a swimmer."

charmcity

I am fascinated by synchronized swimming and this duo in particular, but when this popped up on my Google Reader, the title led me to hope for an Ask A 17th Century Sorceress column...

Ophelia

@charmcity Yeah, my first thought was "does she weigh more than a duck?"

kickupdust

@charmcity THAT WOULD BE AMAZING. Eeeeedith?

charmcity

@kickupdust Or are synchronized swimmers the sorceresses of the 21st century?! Probably!

olivebee

I wish I had seen this! All I think of when I hear "synchronized swimming" is Aunt Vivian and Aunt Lily in Pushing Daisies. And it sounds like the Olympians delivered the same amount of glamour.

double paw?

@olivebee ok whew i thought i was the only one making the pushing daisies connection!

the roughest toughest frail

@olivebee I bet the Darling Mermaid Darlings would have taken gold and celebrated by filling the pool with vodka.

olivebee

@abetterfate Swoosie Kurtz/Lily wouldn't shed a tear after winning gold, and then she'd point that shotgun at anyone who dared say they didn't deserve it.

Welp, looks like I will be resurrecting my Pushing Daisies DVDs this weekend to revel anew in the whimsy.

Xanthophyllippa

@olivebee Man, I miss that show. "Pigby liked the noises that the nice-smelling thing that fed him was making."

pityslice

All I remember from three summers of synchronized swimming is that gelatin + hair = a hard, sticky helmet that can sometimes attract insects.

liverwortlaura

@pityslice how do you get it out?! I imagine really hot water?

pityslice

@liverwortlaura Hot water and lots of shampoo! It gets all goopy and feels very satisfying.

Lurkasaurus

@pityslice And your hair looks and feels so great afterwards! (Except for the remaining Knox crunchies that you're picking out for the next week or so, if you did a rushed/careless job.)

tibia

@Lurkasaurus yayyy knox crunchies <3 also yay(?) for inevitably breaking off a lot of your hair leaving a one-inch frizz halo that lasts the rest of the school year, growing out just in time to do it all over again next summer.

bitchycrosstownexpress

I am way too excited that I have a vacation day the morning the team finals are live streaming. I am digging the new camera angle they have that shows both above and below the water at the same time so you can see just how hard they are working to hit those positions. (Although that makes me wonder: is synchronized swimming the Olympic sport with the biggest disparity between what a television viewer sees and what the actual judges are looking at?)

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@bitchycrosstownexpress Hmmm...good point. I was going to say, "what about water polo!" but that's about scoring goals not about judging form. Hmm!

Ophelia

That is some seriously waterproof makeup. Egad!

Beatrix Kiddo

I should never have read the comments on the NYT article. So many people think it's not a sport...because it depends on judges rather than stopwatches or scoring goals. Wouldn't that eliminate tons of sports?

ArgosMama

@Beatrix Kiddo, They train with weights on thier legs in the water. WATER. With that kind of strength and agility how can people not call it sport?

anitabath

@ArgosMama Not to mention, as they said in the article, it's like running a 3.5 minute race while holding your breath. Or like doing a gymnastics floor routine without solid ground to push off from. While holding your breath. In perfect time and right next to someone (or 7 other someones). As a former synchro swimmer, I would not have tolerated the fake nails some of those girls were wearing - you get sliced enough by finger and toe nails as it is!! Also - definitely not helping the image of the sport when CTV coverage does their slow-motion highlight reel after each routine and focuses on the Ukrainian women's kiss at the end instead of their athletic abilities.

Lurkasaurus

@Beatrix Kiddo People like that piss me right off. Thanks for the warning (although sadly they seem to inevitably crop up anywhere synchro is mentioned). What about gymnastics? Figure skating? Diving? SNOWBOARDING? I'd like to see some of these people snark about what Shaun White does not being a sport.

@anitabath Former synchro swimmer high-five! We definitely get plenty of practice defending the sport's difficulty, eh? :/ My favorite is when people are astounded that no, we're not just walking around on the bottom of the pool.

tibia

@Lurkasaurus @anitabath hola other former synchro-ers! (i was super recreational, just fun pool summers, but it counts!) i loved being like "Okay, YOU get in and try it" and then watching people slowly drown trying to do a ballet leg. HA.

sarah girl

LOL at this below the article:

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thatsrealbutter

Goblin. . .GOBLIN. I want to swim around in a doll head swimsuit to Goblin.

distrighema

It says the winning team swam to the theme music from Suspiria! Where can I watch this ASAP?

thatsrealbutter

@distrighema Here you go, the NBC version has the commentators talking far too much while they were swimming. It angered me so I found a non talky version!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB9lGfegzHM

Ophelia

This is only tangentially related, but:

http://xkcd.com/1092/

Lurkasaurus

Yay, so much synchro content on the 'Pin lately! ^^ And this is is great, because I did in fact miss it on TV, because NBC apparently decided that just throwing it out there any ol' time was a superior method to following their published broadcast schedule. I know it's a niche sport, almost no one cares, blah blah, but at least show your perfunctory hour of footage on a minor cable channel at the time you have stated you will show it! ARRGH!

1963248500@twitter

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!dog fence without wires

1963248500@twitter

might look to descend into madness while performing intricate leg maneuvers upside down in an Olympic swimming pool. “We imagine there is a mirror, and she is getting ready, and then she goes crazy." mountain house

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