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Swim Team heading to the Junior Olympics

Charlottesville Swans
Charlottesville Swans
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 10:31 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Swans are heading to the Junior Olympics in Colorado in a few weeks. The work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for this moment in front of the artistic swimming judges is anything but easy.

“It’s just a great combination of swimming and dance and music and it’s a really fun combo to be part of,” said swimmer Irelyn Hearn.

The focus of synchronized swimming is on strength, precision, and teamwork, and that has been the focus for the swans since 2012 when the coach started the team and brought the sport to this part of central Virginia.

“It’s a really fun sport to stay healthy and stay active and it brings you a lot of experiences, meeting new people, swimming new routines, it’s really fun,” Hearn said.

The Charlottesville Swans have high hopes as they ready for competition in Colorado Springs .

“I would love to be a national champion. That would be amazing,” said swimmer Maggie Connolly.

But the work to be a champion doesn’t just happen in the water.

“We usually do circuits and stuff like that but it uses all of our synchronized swimming muscles so it works our flexibility and all the important things that aren’t necessarily used in other sports,” Connolly said.

These athletes train for hours outside the pool too to combine gymnastics, dance, lifts, and tosses.

“One group is working on their routine to count and we call that land drilling and the other group is doing their strength training for the day,” said Swans Coach Samantha Elhart. “It’s not like your soccer, your baseball where there’s someone else who can fill in, you if you don’t have one of your teammates there or your now best friends there you can’t really do that routine.”

The goal of this sport is to tell a story, through each movement without missing a beat.

The 2021 Junior Olympics get underway June 26 in Colorado Springs.

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