I had come in search of the meaning of synchronized swimming in modern America. Over the course of a week, I had gotten bored with the human body’s physical excellence. Maybe that was because, despite the spectacle at this level, even flawlessness becomes mundane. Without the threat of failure, watching people perfectly execute the seemingly impossible becomes, to be blunt, boring after an hour of wonder and shock. But beyond the bright lights of the Strip, and the hundred-dollar-a-ticket shows meant to lure in tourists, between bouts of gambling and bingeing at buffets, the true heart of synchronized swimming beckoned in the distance. I just needed to find it.
Elisabeth Donnelly on synchronized swimming in America.