"Now our sport is a mixed one and only in the Olympics, it’s a female one and I think it’s not right," said a 23-year-old Aleksandr Maltsev whose mission is to make synchronized swimming gender-equal. Hoping that the Olympic committee will change the decision in time for the Paris Summer Games in 2024, Maltsev will not give up the fight.
It's a multifaceted sport with so many different elements
When he was just seven years old, his parents enrolled him in a synchronized swimming group in a local sports school in St. Petersburg and this was when he was first introduced to the sport. "At the age of 12 I think I fell in love with the sport and my main aim was to compete within the international competitions and be a champion one day, At the time, they accepted everyone, boys and girls. My mother thought that this artistic sport would be good for my all-round development. And she was absolutely right." he said. He along with his mixed duet partner Maya Gurbanberdieva have been training since 2017, practicing from morning until night to ensure that their routines are perfect. One of the reasons why he loves the sport is because he believes that it's a multifaceted sport with so many different elements. From learning how to swim to swimming fast and then endurance swimming, not to mention choreography, acrobatics and fitness exercises.
He as an inspiration for a new generation of synchro swimmers
After making his international debut in 2015, he has won many awards like the FINA Best Male Synchronized Swimmer award with Bill May of the United States of America in 2015 and has also received the title of Honoured Master of Sport in the Russian Federation. He is known as a pioneer in the female-dominated sport and saying, "He as an inspiration for a new generation of synchro swimmers. Although many coaches, especially older generations, are not ready yet to deal with boys and don't know how to work with them. In my mind, the future of the sport rests on the shoulders of young coaches."
Image credit: BBC