Men have been given the go-ahead to compete in Olympic artistic swimming for the first time in history at the 2024 Paris Games, World Aquatics said on Thursday.
As per World Aquatics, the IOC approved male participation in the artistic swimming team event, with a maximum of two male competitors per team.
While artistic swimming has been on the Olympic programme since 1984, until now it has always been a female-only sport. However, all of that is set to change at Paris 2024 where 10 teams are expected to compete for the gold medal at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.
The addition of male athletes to the artistic swimming competition represents another step in the IOC’s mission to provide gender parity at the Games, with Paris 2024 featuring as many female athletes as male for the first time in history.
The USA’s Billy May, the first male World Champion in artistic swimming, spoke about how much of a breakthrough moment the inclusion of men in Olympic artistic swimming will be.
“The inclusion of men in Olympic Artistic Swimming was once considered the impossible dream,” May said.
“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,” he added.
World Aquatics President Captain Husain Al-Musallam was equally enthusiastic about the new development.
“Aquatics sports are universal and men have proven themselves to be excellent artistic swimmers. 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,” said Al-Musallam.
The artistic swimming competition at Paris 2024 will include 96 athletes, with five events contested between 5 and 10 August 2024. The events include Free duets, Technical duets, Finale duets, Free teams and Technical teams.