With our technical partner Virginie Dedieu!

all about artistic swimming

Does the term synchronised swimming—or artistic swimming as it is now called—mean anything to you?

When you think about this sport, your mind may jump to swimmers with glittering swimsuits and heavy make-up…

But there's more to artistic swimming than meets the eye. Dive with us into a sport that requires endurance, strength, flexibility, and a sense of rhythm!

Virginie Dedieu, Decathlon technical partner

Triple world champion in solo, Olympic medallist in duet… If you want an example of an impressive synchronised swimming career, look no further than Virginie Dedieu! Portrait of this great French athlete in 5 questions: sporting career, achievements, partnership with Decathlon Artistic Swimming, projects and goals.

virginie dedieu decathlon technical partner

Let's take a look at Virginie Dedieu's role at Artistic Swimming at Decathlon

“We are jointly developing educational tools for young swimmers. These are tools that either do not yet exist and we are creating them, or that we are adapting because they lack specific features for synchronised swimmers. For example, we have adapted a nose clip to suit the sport. We have worked on creating a specialised black swimsuit, required in competitions for compulsory figures.

It really made sense for me to get involved in this process. I have been a top athlete, so I know a lot about my sport. It's so interesting to be able to share knowledge and develop tools that do not yet exist.”

all you need to know about artistic swimming

Bonus question: how did artistic swimming come about?

Artistic swimming has its origins in ornamental swimming and aquatic theatre from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while also using lifesaving and swimming techniques.

Early competitions were only for men, but artistic swimming became increasingly associated with women after Australian Annette Kellerman performed in a glass tank at the New York Hippodrome in 1907. (...) 

All aspects of the performance are now taken into account: when a swimmer strikes or traces circles on the surface, they can even control the splashing of the water.

This sport tends to be mixed. However, some national federations (such as the United States, Canada, Italy, Russia and France) accept male competitors. In September 2000, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) finally allowed men to participate in an international competition at the 2002 Synchronised Swimming World Cup in Zurich. Then, a new event was born at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan: a mixed duet. However, at the Olympic Games, it is still only women who can compete.