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Synchronized Dedication

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Olivia Heinze and her team members perform practice synchronized swimming at the beach.

Olivia Heinze and her team members perform practice synchronized swimming at the beach.

Olivia Heinze

Olivia Heinze

Olivia Heinze and her team members perform practice synchronized swimming at the beach.

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We all know the struggle of extracurriculars: there’s so many to choose from and there’s no way to do them all. You’re faced with a decision between many things that you enjoy, and it’s tough to let some go. What if there was an activity that incorporated everything you loved in one sport?  For sophomore Olivia Heinze that sport is synchronized swimming.

“It’s definitely nerve-wracking,” Heinze said. “But it’s really exciting to represent your city and to be showing someone your performance and giving someone your best.”

In all of the hard work, Heinze has proven her success with her qualification for the Junior Olympics, a reward given at the national level of synchronized swimming. Many dedicated synchronized swimmers around the nation use the Junior Olympics as a stepping stone to advance into the actual Olympics.

“The Junior Olympics is the top 50 to 60 teams in the nation. If I had wanted to be in the Olympics I would’ve had to move to California at a younger age to be closer to all the good coaches and good pools,” Heinze said.

I really love synchronized swimming but it’s not something that I want to consume my whole life.”

— Olivia Heinze

In the six years Heinze has been doing synchronized swimming, she’s learned to develop skills from many different sports, due to this sport being a combination of many skills.

“Synchronized swimming really combines swimming, dancing, and gymnastics,” Heinze said. “Most people think it’s like water aerobics, like when you see old people standing in the water kind of like moving their arms or twisting. That’s definitely not what it is.”

In reality, synchronized swimming is very challenging and requires extreme dedication and resilience.

“We do have to have really strong resistance, really strong endurance, but we also have to be flexible, and able to count music,” Heinze said. “We never get to touch the bottom of the pool. And we have to hold our breath for a long time. It’s a performance sport so we perform routines, so it’s not like we’re just swimming.”

While this unique sport causes a physical strain and commitment, it also requires a major time commitment that impedes on school and aspects of daily life.

“We practice for a total of 12 hours a week. Especially now that I’m in high school and I have so much homework, and I’m in all pre-AP classes, it’s a lot to handle,” Heinze said. “The pools I practice at now are like an hour away, so it takes six hours of my night. It’s definitely a time commitment. But I do enjoy competing and I really have made lasting friendships on the team.”

Even throughout all of the sports Heinze has participated in, from soccer to dance to lap swimming and gymnastics, she fell in love with synchronized swimming for the culture and community of the sport.

“When you go to compete it’s like a whole different world. You just immerse yourself in the sport,” Heinze said. “I’ve had the opportunity to deal with different kinds of people. I’ve had to work with teammates that I wouldn’t necessarily want to, I’ve had to work with coaches, represented my city and my team.”

Heinze continues to pursue her passion for synchronized swimming and continues to work through challenges.

While synchronized swimming may just be a sport to some, it has shaped Heinze into the person she is today, a strong athlete and a motivated student.

“It’s honestly made me a more complete person,” Heinze said. “I wouldn’t have had all the experiences that I have had because I’m a synchronized swimmer.”

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Synchronized Dedication