November 2004 archives

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30 November 2004

A legend in the sport of synchronized swimming has passed away, just before his 75th birthday. Donn Squire had a massive stroke that claimed his life last week. The Monerey County Herald posted a story today about the tragedy.

Donn will be remembered for his years of dedication and service to the sport of synchronized swimming. His accomplishments reach worldwide. He was a coach and co-ran the Cypress Swim Club with Del Neel, he was a volunteer for US Synchronized Siwmming, and he was an accomplished athlete. He recently won a gold medal at the US Masters Nationals in October in the 70-79 age group.

Donn will be missed by the entire synchro community.

14 November 2004

I'll be heading to Beijing, China, this week, where I will be visiting the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee's environmental division. I hope to discuss the environmental impacts of preparing to host an Olympic Games. They will host the world in 2008, and intend for them to be 'Green Games.'

To read more about the International Olympic Committee's committment to the environment, read the IOC's Agenda 21.

14 November 2004

The Japanese synchronized swimming trainer for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games has written an article on his methods and the a bit about their training regimen. He points out the difficulty in training Olympic athletes, and the hours these women put into practice. With synchro, you not only have to train the body specifically, you have to train eight people to perform moves in unison. This requires countless hours of repetition until everyone can perform a perfect routine in an unstable medium.

11 November 2004

A friend of mine found this website for a synchro club at the University of Pennsylvania. At this university, synchro is the longest standing sport club for women dating back to 1946!

2 November 2004

In order to celebrate Halloween last week, our team had some great ideas in the pool. There are several things you can do for fun that still build strength during practice.

One idea is to break the team up into groups, and have relays. You can have any kind of relays, but we chose to do relays with candy and blow-up pumkins. The team had to do laps of ballet legs with the blow-up pumpkin resting on their chest. This is not only funny, but it teaches them to stretch out their body during ballet legs. You can do laps of any stroke modified to hold a piece of candy (e.g., one arm up holding candy while flutter kicking).

Bobbing for apples is always a favorite. The apples are thrown into the pool and the athletes fetch them.

We also had everyone eggbeater in a circle while tossing around a blown-up pumpkin and a few ghosts. This way they practice eggbeater skills while having fun.

There is really no limit to the number of creative ways to have some fun in the pool. These activities are also good for team bonding and to allow the athletes a break from the daily grind of practice. Just for fun, the coaches dressed up for the occasion too!

synchronized swimming insights from an olympic gold medalist