Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member (HUN)

Meeting the ladies, right after the conclusion of the synchro team competitions, walking off the podium after the victory ceremony. Younger teams, waiting for the start of their events, line up and form a kind of wall similar to what we observe at weddings. Medallists of the higher age-group competition are requested to pass through. And they receive a fantastic ovation from the younger ladies. Awesome, simply awesome.

“We are together... Wait... For how long... Well... Many-many years!”

Amazing. The Calgary Aquamums, winners in synchro team event’s 50-64 category, look like they are just beyond the minimum age limit. While regrouping for another team photo, they first of all take care of the angle of the Sun (“let’s turn to right, otherwise the medals will be in the shade”), then recognises one member is missing. But look, there she’s coming. In fact, running. Through the pooldeck... Well, she would be fitting to any final of the ongoing athletics Worlds in London.

Julia Kiss, competition director of the synchro events (and world champion in duet) says that the bodyshape of most of the 50+ (60+!) ladies are simply outstanding.

“We all would love to look like them in 30 years.”

Four hours of training, twice a week – a very good recipe for keep yourself in shape.

“And we also do fitness training on our own” the ladies explain. An eight-member strong women team, united by the love of synchro. And that love cures problems if there is any. It might occur, of course. “We have an Olympian but also a member who began synchro three years ago. We have forty-four years old and also sixty-six, so more than twenty years difference to handle. But it’s working... Well, there are some better days than the others... But we love it and we form a really good team.”

The music and the choreography are chosen by their coach. This time there was a rather special feature in their free routine: part of the national anthem was included to the music. “Oh yes, we wanted to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation.” It sounded great. The routine looked great. The Aquamums did a great job.

And what about the upper age-group? Here are Nancy, Kathy, Linda and Laure. Four wonderful ladies, winners in the 65-100 category representing Dc Synchromasters from the US.

Dear readers, how many of you remember the year of 1976? Me not, I was just a five-year old kid. These four ladies can recall it precisely – as they have been together since then. For more than forty years! They have been doing synchro together during these decades. They were present in all but three editions of the Masters Worlds. They also have two practice sessions per week, plus some swims individually.

“We love the sport and especially the group of people we meet” they say.

“Every event like this is like a family reunion. We are never competitors, we love the others and we are here to have fun.”

The foursome did a great job once more. The challenge was there, though.

This routine was written by one of our 20-year old swimmers in the club. And it’s very hard” they say with a smile. And the music? It’s a common pick.

They listen to many options. “I like this, OK. I don’t like that. We all give opinions. There is no debates. We’ve been swimming together for a long time so we know each other’s tastes.”

So this is how a routine comes together. It was a close call, they’ve got 1.3500 more points than the Swiss club from Dubendorf – but recall the opinion above: for them it’s not a competition. They are here to enjoy the company of others.

In Budapest, they got something extra. The venue. It’s not an average indoor pool, something very similar in all corners of the world.

“It’s beautiful. All these settings with the castle, it’s a gorgeous look. Sometimes you can’t take your eyes off of the castle even while you are in the pool!” – they say, adding that the locals are very friendly and helpful.

Sunshine, mild weather (the heat gone during overnight, thanks God) – and synchro outdoors in an environment never seen before. Plus a gold medal in their neck. OK, it doesn’t count that much as it’s the fun which weighs the most, but... After all, it’s a world title.

Perhaps we are just watching people enjoying a perfect day.