While President Obama is considering cancelling a September trip to Moscow, two teams of Russian synchronized swimmers are improving cultural relations as sports ambassadors. These talented gold medalists just might charm more Americans to look past governmental differences of opinion and appreciate the finer things in life – like dazzling synchronized swimming performances. To night’s victory in the synchronized swimming free combination contest secured all seven gold medals at Barcelona 2013 for Russia’s synchronized swimming team. And Kazan, Russia, the next host of the World Aquatic Championships in 2015, is promoting its sports-friendly image with a multi-media exhibit at the current World Aquatic Championships, now taking place in Barcelona, Spain.
On Thursday night, the synchronized swimming duet of Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina appealed to a new generation of synchronized swimming fans and impressed the judges to win a first place finish. While they maintained the technical precision that their compatriots at the Bolshoi and Kirov are famous for, they moved to the rhythms of industrial techo-pop. Their bold performances accented the athletic aspects of synchronized swimming and inspired the audience with breathtaking intensity. Winning gold medals has become a routine for Svetlana Romashina, who won three consecutive gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Russia’s synchronized swimmers followed in these footsteps at the team synchronized swimming competition on July 26. The team’s gold medal winning score of 97.4 out of 100 possible points built on impeccable artistic presentation. The scoring system is based on equal weighting for technical merit and artistic impression. The components of technical merit are execution, synchronization and the difficulty level of the routine. The components of the artistic impression are choreography, musical interpretation and presence.
Synchronized swimming will be joined by diving, swimming and water polo when the 2015 World Aquatic Championships take place in Kazan, Russia. Kazan is name rarely recognized outside of Russia, but this scenic metropolis on the banks of the Volga River is building a global image by investing in the future of sports business. The city just completed presenting the 2013 World University Games with over 10,000 athletes. This was the largest international sports event held in Russia since the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. Following the World Aquatic Championships in 2015, Kazan will host the FIFA Confederation Cup in 2017. The city’s enthusiasm for sports its match by the championship achievements of its home teams in many sports. The AkBars Hockey Club and Zenith Basketball Team are frequently ranked at the top of their leagues and the area also boast winning volleyball and soccer teams, as well.
Will good sportsmanship give John Kerry the entrée he needs to hit the reset button with Russia’s diplomats? A few coaching sessions with these gold medal winning high achievers may be all that America’s top diplomats need to achieve their goals in time for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.