• Synchronised swimmers are some of the fittest athletes on the planet (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Australia is ready to synch or swim in Rio.
Erin Byrnes

20 Jul 2016 - 5:00 PM  UPDATED 20 Jul 2016 - 5:00 PM

Synchronised swimming gets a bit of a rough run, really. People poke a bit of fun at the costumes, the routines, and the perceived pomp and ceremony of the whole thing.

But in reality, synchronised swimmers are some of the fittest, hardest working athletes on the planet.

Not only do you need to be a strong swimmer - you need superior cardio fitness, the strength and flexibility of a gymnast, timing and coordination, and a dedicated team first attitude.

Synch or swim: what it takes to be a synchronised swimmer
Think synchronised swimming is a bit of a laugh? Think again. As Lucy Zelic discovers, synchronised swimmers are amongst some of the fittest and finest athletes out there. Ready to become an armchair expert for the Rio Olympics? Get started with everything you need to know about synchronised swimming.

Keep that in mind when you’re watching the traditional swimming events, because our synchronised team deserves just as much attention and are set to produce something special in Rio.

The squad for Rio contains an incredible 8 Olympic rookies, with London 2012 Olympian Bianca Hammett set to captain the Team.

“After London the whole Team, except for myself retired, I’m so thankful I’ve made it again,” Hammett said.

The team has a history of proving their patriotism via their routines.

At London they performed to an AC/DC medley.

At Rio, they will Australia's native fauna in one routine, with the athletes keen to showcase one of Australia’s most famous animals, the crocodile.

“For the team free routine, an Australian outback theme has been chosen which takes us on a journey through the unique flora and fauna of our land. We wanted showcase a routine that displays Australia's natural beauty and diverse environments,” Hammet explained.

All 9 athletes will combine for the Team event, while former New Zealander Rose Stackpole and Queenslander Nikita Pablo will represent Australia in the Duet.

Hannah Cross, Emily Rogers, Cristina Sheehan, Amie Thompson, Deborah Tsai and Danielle Kettlewell make up the squad.

Kettlewell is another rookie that’s jumped on board the green and gold. Born in Vancouver, her parents are from Sydney, giving her the chance to represent Australia.

She picked up her life in 2013 to move to Perth to train for the Games.

“It’s an unbelievable experience. Being selected is more of a feeling than anything else, I feel like my heart swells in pride. I’m so unbelievably proud to represent Australia at the Olympics.”

Australia’s best Team finish at the Games is 7th in Beijing 2008, while in the Duet, it’s 13th at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.


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