Fourth-Place Medal

Wolves and torches and Broadway songs: Why you need to watch synchronized swimming

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

Synchronized swimming started Sunday and gave us an idea of its awesomeness with Russia's not-so-subtle tribute to Michael Jackson. But with Monday's duets performing a free routine in qualification, these women were truly allowed to show off their creative side.

And let's get this out of the way now -- synchronized swimming is a difficult, difficult sport. It requires stamina and strength and the ability to hold your breath for a long, long time. It requires the ability to do this:

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And spin in a circle while holding a perfect toe point.

Now, on to the creative side. In the free routine, the duets express their music through song, costume and moves that would make my lungs explode. Canada did an ode to clowns, complete with clown laughter and clowns on their bathing suits. I love Fourth-Place Medal readers enough to not include that picture.

Mexico's routine was about wolves, I think. Wolves were howling. Wolves were on the swimsuits.

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Not only wolves, but bedazzled wolves. At one point in the routine, they spit out pool water like a spout. Thank you, Isabel Delgado Plancarte and Nuria Diosdado Garcia.

The American team of Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva was a tad on the nose.

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Their routine was set to the Olympic fanfare with, "Citius, Altius, Fortis" -- the Olympic motto which means higher, faster, stronger -- said over and over again. Was it a bit much? Sure, but it worked. They qualified to the next round.

And these are our friends from Argentina.

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Meet Etel and Sofia Sanchez, twin sisters and duet partners. Their recreation of "A Chorus Line" in the water comes complete with Etel pushing Sofia -- or maybe Sofia pushing Etel, as they are twins -- as they compete for a spot. Until you've seen "I Hope I Get It" and "One" done under water, you haven't truly lived. The Sanchezes didn't make it to finals, but they did do Broadway right.

Duet finals are at 10 a.m. ET. Trust me -- you want to tune in.

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