BUFFALO, N.Y. — Synchronized swimmers from all across the country came to the Town of Tonawanda for the U.S. Junior Olympics Championship. More than 1000 athletes are competing this week and teenagers age 12 to 18 are competing for the gold.
Synchronize swimming calls for a lot of core and body strength. These athletes train both inside and outside of the water, some four hours a day, five times a week.
"One of the things that most people are surprised about is that we can't touch the bottom especially with the lifts," synchronize swimmer Olivia Linn said. "They're really surprised that we have to throw someone in the air without touching the bottom."
Throughout the entire performance each swimmer treads water. They also hold their breaths for long periods of time under water. To practice this, they do unders, a swimming drill where the athlete swims the length of the pool without taking a breath.
Delaney O'Brocta, a synchronized swimmer for the Aquettes describes this sport as time consuming, challenging, but at the end of the day rewarding.
"You make really good friends and get to travel to cool places because of it," she said. "You get to stay in shape and you make friends for life, so it's really great."