The International Olympic Committee has given its approval for World Aquatics to allow men to participate in artistic swimming at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the first time that men will be allowed in the competition.
A maximum of two men can be selected among eight athletes in the team event that is due to include 10 nations. Adding men to the sport once known as synchronized swimming will leave rhythmic gymnastics as the last women-only event on the Summer Games program.
Men have competed in artistic swimming at the biennial aquatics world championships since 2015. At the inaugural mixed duet event in Kazan, Russia, the gold medal was won by Bill May and Christina Jones for the United States.
“The inclusion of men in Olympic Artistic Swimming was once considered the impossible dream,” said May. “This proves that we should all dream big. The male athletes have endured. Now, through their perseverance and the help and support of so many, all athletes may stand alongside each other equally, reaching for Olympic glory.”
Artistic swimming has been in the Olympic Games since 1984 and this will be the first time that men have been eligible to be included. Men have been allowed to compete at the World Aquatics Championships since 2015.
“Aquatics sports are universal and men have proven themselves to be excellent artistic swimmers,” said World Aquatics President Husain Al-Musallam. “I look forward to seeing this new dimension of Artistic Swimming being shared with the world in Paris. The inclusion of men in Artistic Swimming is a great credit to all those who have worked for many years to make this happen.”