Sync Up: September 15, 2021

The Olympic Games are over and a new cycle is starting. In artistic swimming, this usually marks the start of big turnovers in many teams. These last few weeks have already given us a handful of updates from around the world on retirements, newcomers, and other changes…


  • Laura Miccuci and Maria Clara Lobo will swim in duet for their club Flamengo, and hope to be selected as the Brazilian duet for the Paris 2024 qualifiers. Lobo is a 2016 Olympian, while Miccuci was already part of the duet this season with Luisa Borges, who swims nationally for Fluminense. They placed 12th at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, where only the top nine could go to Tokyo.


  • Following the National Games of China, Huang Xuechen confirmed she was retiring. She leaves the sport as China’s most successful artistic swimmer, with eight Olympic and 20 World medals.
  • Head coach Wang Jie also ended her career after the National Games. She was the national team head coach for the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2020 Olympic cycles, and was also part of the coaching staff ahead of the 2016 Games. In addition, she was the head coach of the Beijing province team for decades.
  • Sun Wenyan has not announced anything official yet. She stated she would first take a long break before deciding anything. In addition, she will get married in October.


  • France’s senior team is back to training with five new members. Former junior national team athletes Lalie Chassaigne, Sasha Comte, Oriane Jaillardon, and Romane Lunel all moved to Paris to train at INSEP. Claudia Janvier also joined the team. She formerly trained with Synchro Dollard in Canada, and was part of the 13-15 Canadian national team in 2018.
  • Team captain Marie Annequin announced her retirement back in July. A few days later, Inesse Guermoud followed suit.


  • Head coach Masayo Imura stated that the Tokyo Olympics would be her last Games.
  • She’s not quite done yet, and is already back to work with Inui Yukiko to choreograph her solos for the next World Championships scheduled for May 2022 in Fukuoka, Japan.


Russian Federation

  • Most of the major changes on the Russian squad were covered in this separate article.
  • More recently and after one week of quarantine in a Moscow hotel, the Tokyo medalists all met with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, as is customary after each Olympics. They also each received a BMW, with their names on the licence plates.
  • On that topic, some Ukrainian media heavily criticized Marina Golyadkina for praising Putin and for representing the “aggressor country.” The Donetsk-native formerly swam for Ukraine on the international stage before switching citizenships to Russia in 2016. She quickly fired back by posting a picture of herself in vacation in Crimea waving the Russian flag and writing in the caption,“Hello haters.” Which of course, made the Russian press.


  • The senior team held its annual preseason training camp in Lanzarote from September 6-9. Every Tokyo Olympian except Ona Carbonell were in attendance.
  • Three newcomers joined the squad at this camp: Cristina Arambula, Marina García, and Valeria Parra. García and Parra are still eligible for the junior category. Arambula should now be training at CAR in Barcelona full time. She recently competed at the European Junior Championships this past June in Malta.


  • Kseniya Sydorenko has ended her sports career. After a two-year break, the veteran had returned for the Tokyo Olympics, where she won a bronze medal in the team event.


  • The senior team is facing a significant turnover, and many new faces will join next season. Only two of the athletes who competed last year, Anita Alvarez and Daniella Ramirez, will move to Los Angeles at the team’s new training pool. Reserve athletes Megumi Field and Anya Melson will also continue on.
  • The other athletes will head to their university teams. 2020 Olympian Lindi Schroeder will swim for Stanford University, along with Nicole Goot. The Ohio State University will have Nikki Dzurko, Hannah Heffernan, and Ruby Remati. Finally, Paige Areizaga and Abby Remmers will compete for the University of the Incarnate Word.

In Other News…

  • CNN published an article on men in artistic swimming: “Male artistic swimmers redefine what ‘masculinity’ means.” Italian national team members Giorgio Minisini and Nicolo Ogliari are featured. Well-worth the read.
  • Viktória Reichová intends to sue the Slovak Swimming Federation regarding the sanctions and obstructions she’s faced throughout her career. She is claiming for non-pecuniary damages in the amount of 100,000 euros. As a reminder, Reichová took her ordeal all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, which ruled in her favor. In a separate interview, she discussed her experience during those years.



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