Tag Archives: Erin

Olympic Synchro

I didn’t get to see much of the Olympic synchro this year, what with it being on in the middle of the night, and my not having pay TV.  A few of the girls got together to watch, but I wasn’t able to make it, so I had to make do with finding as many YouTube videos as possible.

Olympic synchro is like another world.  We watch their routines for inspiration, and we use some of the moves that they do, but the thought of actually undertaking one of these routines leaves me breathless.  It’s certainly something to aim for.

This video gives you an idea of the routines of the top three at this year’s Olympics, as well as the way syncrho works in competition and the things judges look for. 

My favourite routine was by Spain, who won the silver medal.  In the above video, they’re the ones in the silver costumes – which I think are amazing.  The clip they show of the routine in that video doesn’t include what I consider to be the best move, where they lift one girl out of the water in a crab pose (bent over backwards) and launch another girl over the top of her.  It is actually incredible.

I’ve searched high and low for a really good quality video of the routine to no avail.  This is the best one I could find, but it cuts off the good move  a little.

I think the things that attract me to synchronised swimming are that it is beautiful and graceful, but also shows that women can be strong, fast and fierce.  I think people are often surprised at how skilled syncrho actually is.   After our performance last year we invited people into the pool to try some moves with us, and there was a lot of surprise when non-fat people were unable to do some of the things we do.

Also, it’s a team sport and requires women to bond together in order to create something.  Speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that there’s a special bond that forms when you’re in skin to skin, vagina to skull contact with people on a weekly basis.  Barriers break down, you laugh a lot.  It’s hard to maintain decorum when you’re slipping and sliding all over the place.  And it’s wonderful.

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Oooooh Barracuda!

I don’t know that many synchro moves, but I can tell you that of the ones know, this is my favourite.  I taught myself after watching the above video, and have been teaching the other Porkos how to do it since.  I’m not sure what it is – I just love the feeling of throwing yourself backwards and going up and out of the water, before sinking back in.  It feels powerful and graceful, and those are two things I don’t feel enough in my life!

Key to this move – the deep end of a deep pool!  Don’t try this in shallow water, you’re guaranteed to crack your noggin’ on the bottom of the pool!
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Aquaporko 2012/2013 FTW!

So, it was our first Aquaporko back for this season this week. To say I have been excited about this moment is an understatement to say the least! Since the performance in April, life has gone back to it’s usual hectic pace, but I’ll admit I’ve been feeling a bit bereft without my barracudas and ballet legs!
The performance last season was a real achievement for us all, and while showing off our mad skillz* to our friends and family was awesome, my favourite memory of the day was standing in a huddle with the crew, giving ourselves props for what we had achieved. We had some feels.
It’s not every day fat women get together and do something extraordinary. But it’s what we do, once a week. Reclaiming public space, reclaiming our bodies, reclaiming ourselves. It’s a powerful statement that we make simply by stripping down to our bathers and splashing about in the pool. Amazing that something so powerful can be that easy.
My weekly Porko sessions have become so much more to me than just an excuse to get into the pool and pretend to be a mermaid (a lifelong dream). Aquaporko has become a home away from home, a place where I’m not just accepted for who I am, but am encouraged and supported to be myself – even when I’m a quivering ball of social anxiety, barely capable of speech. Aquaporko is a place I know I’ll find friendship and laughter – lots of laughter – and love, and every week last season I counted down the days until I would see my Porkos again!
So yeah, to say that I have been excited for the return of Aquaporko for the 2012/2013 season is an understatement. It’s more like finding a part of myself that has been missing for six months.
If this sounds like the kind of thing you could get into, drop our Training Group a line with your membership request – let us know how you heard about us and why you’d like to join. Also, if you haven’t already, like us on Facebook!

We’re a fat-positive, queer-friendly and generally inclusive kind of group, open to anyone who self-identifies as fat. Those with inner Mermaids, Divas and Drag Queens are strongly encouraged to join! There’s no minimum swimming ability required, though the ability to prevent yourself from drowning is fairly essential.
*may or may not indicate actual skill ability.
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