london olympics 2012: day 11 … SYNCHRONI(S)(Z)ED SWIMMING

Bryan was there. He was just embarrassed by this. Which is so weird. I mean, look how not embarrassing it is.

Wow. So today I experienced a true Olympic high and a true Olympic low. The high: We got to see a medal ceremony! We had tickets to the Women’s Duets finals in synchronised swimming and it was even better than I expected!

Well, I didn’t know what to expect. A year ago when we were randomly putting in events for the ticket lottery, I said only half-jokingly we should go for this one. A much-misunderstood sport, I am as fascinated as millions of others that it is a sport, and wanted to see what it was all about. Well, the Aquatic Centre was sold out and the women’s duets put on a great show. From the little I understand, the points awarded in today’s freestyle routine were combined with the points from yesterday’s technical routines. I was riveted by the sheer athleticism involved. The sport seems like swimming, gymnastics and ballet combined with a lot of breath-holding.

our views


I loved the US duet’s performance! It was one of my favorite so I wasn’t super happy when they came in 11th out of 12 pairs.


Britain entered their first duet in 20 years. The crowd went wild. So much Team GB love everywhere we go.

The Russian girls won – completely deservedly, in my book. But I haven’t yet studied to be a synchro swimming judge.

It’s crazy to see the pageantry as the girls enter, and the dramatic music and the 19 layers of make-up they have the wear. They shellac their hair with gelatin. But seriously, these women are talented athletes and I am so happy we got to go. I got choked up during the medal ceremony. There is so much about the Olympic Games that is conveyed in a universal language, and one of them is watching the flags get raised for the three medalists and then watching the gold medalist mouth the words to his or her country’s anthem. I always think they might forget the words, but no one ever does. Maybe that’s part of training.

You ready for my low?

No really, are you?

I officially said the worst thing that has ever come out of my mouth in 36 years. We were coming out of the venue and Mary Killman, one half of the USA synchro duet, was just standing there willing to meet members of the exiting crowd. I was immediately starstruck and so excited! She was so nice about letting people pose with her and she got excited that I had an American flag. So I had watched her tuck something into her jacket and noticed a purple and orange ribbon around her neck. So I blurted out: “CAN WE SEE YOUR MEDAL?!!!” And she responded: “I don’t have one!”

Which I knew. Because I had just seen her compete and come in second to last.

I had a brain lapse and basically punched an Olympian in the heart. Oops.

With sincerest of sincerest apologies to Mary Killman, I think she is super talented in a hard and entertaining sport and I hope during her 10-12 hour days of years of future training she never has to worry about an a-hole like me ever again.

As penance, this honestly makes me want to watch the whole documentary:

All photos above courtesy of Faye, Bryan or my MIL.



Filed under london, olympics 2012

2 responses to “london olympics 2012: day 11 … SYNCHRONI(S)(Z)ED SWIMMING

  1. Poren

    At least Mary will most likely remember you…I  caught about 10 min of synchronized swim at the gym and was hooked because unlike running, swimming, etc it is not something regular people can do but less well. It is basically impossible unless you are a training athlete. Makeup is a little scary though but who doesn’t love a good costume…
    Also, I love that you have a full wardrobe of USA gear and I must comment on how awesome your bangs look in all of your pics! Gold medal in bangs! (I know, I am so cheesy).

  2. yael

    P, you’re always so supportive. Especially because you know how seriously I take bangs. My cowlick means I will only ever qualify for a bronze, at the very most, but I appreciate the love.

    My friend told me I was like the Lady Gaga of USA ensembles. Not quite, but I have managed several different costume changes for sure.

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