SBD/May 3, 2013/Olympics

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  • USA Synchro Debuts "Synchro De Mayo" Campaign To Increase Exposure, Participation

    In an effort to pull synchronized swimming "from the shower-drain of sports obscurity," the sport's revamped NGB has "declared May ‘Synchro de Mayo,’ a push to expose newcomers to the sport through performances and free lessons,” according to Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. USA Synchro Exec Dir Julie Swarts said that the “hope is that expanded membership in USA Synchro will attract corporate sponsorship and build the U.S. team.” While other nations “fund their synchronized swimmers' housing and training, the U.S. is relying on more modest tools to reach the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro -- among them, the YMCA and Bingo.” Swarts has “reached out to the YMCA, which has about 2,200 pools nationwide, to help facilitate the sport's spread.” Swarts said that USA Synchro “aims to increase its number of registered members to 5,800 this year from the current 5,400, and to 10,000 by the 2016-2020 Olympic cycle.” Bachman writes a “continuing struggle for synchronized swimming in the U.S. is its lack of a superstar.” U.S. synchro swimmers Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva, who finished 11th at the London Games as a duet, recently appeared on an episode of the improv-comedy show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" "that will run this summer" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/3).

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