For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, men were allowed to participate in the artistic swimming competitions at the Olympic Games. On December 22, World Aquatics (formerly FINA) announced that the IOC had approved men’s participation in artistic swimming events, with a maximum of two athletes per team.
Although artistic swimming has been on the Olympic program since 1984, until now it has always been a women-only sport. However, all of that is likely to change in Paris 2024, where 10 teams are expected to compete for a gold medal at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.
The addition of male athletes to the artistic swimming competitions is another step in the IOC’s mission to ensure gender parity at the Games, and Paris 2024 will see as many women as men participate for the first time in history.
Billy May from the USA, the first men’s world champion in artistic swimming, talked about how the inclusion of men in Olympic artistic swimming will be a breakthrough moment.
“Inclusion of men in Olympic artistic swimming was once considered impossible,” he said. “This proves that we should all dream big. The male athletes survived. Now, thanks to their perseverance and the help and support of so many people, all athletes can stand side by side, reaching for Olympic glory.”
World Aquatics President Captain Husain Al-Musallam was equally enthusiastic about the new solution, saying: “Water sports are universal and men have proven to be excellent artistic swimmers. I can’t wait to bring this new dimension of artistic swimming to the world in Paris. The inclusion of men in artistic swimming is a great credit to all who have worked for many years to make this happen.”
The 2024 Paris Artistic Swimming Competition will feature 96 athletes, with five events held between August 5 and 10, 2024.
Events include free duets, technical duets, final duets, free teams and technical teams.