Synchronized swimming is one of two Olympic sports (along with rhythmic gymnastics) that are only contested by women. There are two events on the program: duet and team.
Both events feature two types of routines: technical and free. As their names indicate, technical routines include required elements which must be performed in a specific order while free routines may consist of any figures and strokes.
Each routine is evaluated by three panels of five judges. In technical routines, these panels separately score the execution, the impression and the elements. In free routines, the panels separately evaluate the execution, the artistic impression and the difficulty. Each judge awards points from 0 to 10 using tenths of a point. For example, a routine deemed to be perfect would score a 10. A good routine will fall in the 7.0 to 7.9 range. A very weak routine would be scored from 2.0 to 2.9.
In the duet competition, the scores from a preliminary free routine and the technical routine are added together to determine the top 12 pairs to advance to the final. They perform a final free routine with those scores added to the technical routine scores to determine the final results. Duet technical routines are two minutes 20 seconds while duet free routines are three minutes (plus or minus 15 seconds).
The team competition includes a technical routine and a free routine, with final results based on the combined scores from both. Team technical routines are two minutes 50 seconds while team free routines are four minutes (plus or minus 15 seconds).
Canada’s Olympic History (Pre-Rio 2016)
Canada has won eight Olympic medals in synchronized swimming. In the sport’s debut at Los Angeles 1984, Carolyn Waldo won silver in the solo event while Sharon Hambrook and Kelly Kryczka added a silver in the duet. Four years later, Waldo was Canada’s only double medallist at Seoul 1988, winning gold in the solo and in the duet with partner Michelle Cameron. Canada won two more medals at Barcelona 1992, highlighted by Sylvie Fréchette’s solo gold. Initially awarded silver due to a judge mistakenly entering an erroneous score, Fréchette received her gold medal in late 1993. Canada was also on the podium at the first two Games to include the team event, winning silver at Atlanta 1996 and bronze at Sydney 2000.
|Solo - Women||Carolyn Waldo||Gold||1988 Seoul|
|Duet - Women||Carolyn Waldo, Michelle Cameron||Gold||1988 Seoul|
|Solo - Women||Sylvie Fréchette||Gold||1992 Barcelona|
|Duet - Women||Kelly Kryczka, Sharon Hambrook||Silver||1984 Los Angeles|
|Solo - Women||Carolyn Waldo||Silver||1984 Los Angeles|
|Duet - Women||Penny Vilagos, Vicky Vilagos||Silver||1992 Barcelona|
|Team - Women||Cari Read, Christine Larsen, Erin Woodley, Janice Bremner, Karen Clark, Karen Fonteyne, Kasia Kulesza, Lisa Alexander, Sylvie Fréchette, Valerie Hould-Marchand||Silver||1996 Atlanta|
|Team - Women||Catherine Garceau, Claire Carver-Dias, Erin Chan, Fanny Létourneau, Jacinthe Taillon, Jessica Chase, Kirstin Normand, Lyne Beaumont, Reidun Tatham||Bronze||2000 Sydney|