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CNN NEWSROOM

A Look at the Sport of Synchronized Swimming

Aired September 6, 2001 - 04:48   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SHELLEY WALCOTT, CNN ANCHOR: Off the road now and into the water. Synchronized swimming combines precision and timing with the art and athleticism of ballet. It also employees buoyancy. That's the tendency of a body to float when submerged in a fluid. Got that? Well, these synchronized swimmers do.

Simon Omlas (ph) makes the introductions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the start (ph) of our routine.

TUESDAY MIDDAUGH, OLYMPIC SWIMMER: As soon as I saw synchronized swimming, I fell in love with it instantly. I love the fact that we are so athletic and yet so artistic in a combination of one sport.

AMY O'DONNELL, SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING COACH: About half of the routine they're actually doing the rotary kick and then the rest is upside down in different positions. Rotary kick is a combination of circles like each leg is making an individual circle. It allows you to hold one or both arms out of the water. And when you do it well, you can -- it gives the impression that you're standing on the bottom of the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's where you open your legs and close your legs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to be able to hold your breath a long time. You have to be able to use your arms and use your legs so it's much harder. And you have to be able to count and you have to have a good memory, because if you forget the routines, then it just doesn't work.

O'DONNELL: Most of the campers that we see, they have a strong desire to be better, to be a better athlete. The girls that we have at camp have been doing synchronized swimming for one or two years. And so they have to have a desire to swim a difficult routine but they need to be able to enjoy the dance aspect and the creative aspect but they also have to be a tremendous athlete.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the anxiety is going with the team in the competitions. Everything you do is part of a team, and if we all work together, then it's fine. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It teaches you to get along better with people because you have to be with them over and over again. And if you don't get along with them, then it doesn't work.

O'DONNELL: We hope that it can grow in the collegiate realm so that we can send more of these young women off of high school and into a scholarship situation as well as just grow the sport nationally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That would definitely be my ultimate goal to swim in college at a program similar to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love everything. It's a lot of hard work. When most people complain, but I complain, too, but I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked easy if you -- when you were outside of the water, but once you do it, it's not as easy as it looks, and it's fun.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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