This weekend the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series (ASWS) Canada Open will be webcast over a two-day period on May 29th and 30th. The virtual event will feature competitors from 17 different countries. Athletes will compete in Solo Technical and Free, Male Solo Technical and Free, Duet Technical and Free, Mixed Duet Technical and Free, Team Technical and Free, Highlight Routine and Free Combination. The first leg of the FINA ASWS was also held virtually, hosted by USA Artistic Swimming in February. In-person competitions were held in Hungary and Russia in April. The Series will conclude with the Super Final, scheduled for June 10-13 in Barcelona, Spain, to be held in conjunction with the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Canada has entries in the Solo Free, Duet Free and Team Highlight events:

Rosalie Boissonneault (Drummondville, QC) – Highlight Routine and Solo Free
Sydney Carroll (Saskatoon, SK) – Highlight Routine
Andrée-Anne Côté (St-Georges, QC) – Highlight Routine
Scarlett Finn (Toronto, ON) – Duet Free with Emma Spott
Camille Fiola-Dion (Rimouski, QC) – Highlight Routine
Rebecca Harrower (Edmonton, AB) – Highlight Routine
Audrey Joly (St-Eustache, QC) – Highlight Routine
Raphaëlle Plante (Québec, QC) – Highlight Routine
Halle Pratt (Calgary, AB) – Highlight Routine
Kenzie Priddell (Regina, SK) – Highlight Routine
Kiara Quieti (Montréal, QC) – Highlight Routine
Jacqueline Simoneau (Saint-Laurent, QC) – Solo Free
Emma Spott (Toronto, ON) – Duet Free with Scarlett Finn

“We were really pleased that so many countries chose to compete in this virtual competition,” said Jackie Buckingham, CEO, Canada Artistic Swimming.

The countries represented at the competition are Australia, Belarus, Canada, Cayman Islands, Egypt, France, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain and USA.

Canada Artistic Swimming planned and hosted the virtual competition in a pandemic year when normal competitions were almost impossible to host. They replicated as closely as possible the competitive environment for Federations and athletes, including team leader and judge meetings. Start lists were determined by a live virtual draw.

All of the routines were recorded on video under strict guidelines from April 20-28. Federations and clubs selected their preferred time within that week and were given a 60-minute window when the routine had to be filmed, without interruption, to replicate a true competitive environment. They were filmed in their own pool setting, with the videos including the walk-on, as well as athletes exiting the pool and walking back to the starting platform. Cameras were positioned to emulate as closely as possible the elevated view that judges would typically have at the side of the pool. No editing was allowed and videos had to be submitted within the 60-minute time frame assigned.

The recordings were then edited together to simulate the timing of a standard competition for each individual event. The final videos were streamed and judging took place virtually May 8-9, using a web-based judging system, with accredited FINA judges from 24 countries, spanning all 5 continents.

“The virtual platform gave more federations the opportunity to participate at a high international level and has opened up many possibilities for future events of this type,” continued Buckingham. We’ve been working on this project since the beginning of the year, in partnership with our colleagues in the United States, as we anticipated that the second and third waves of COVID-19 could interfere with our plans for competitions. This virtual method developed during the pandemic may allow us in the long run to promote the development of sport at world level, especially for those countries which do not have resources to travel, an inclusive approach to grow our sport worldwide. We’d like to thank FINA for its leadership and support through this project.”

The commentators for the event are Karine Thomas and Bill May. Karine is a two-time Olympian from Canada, who was a member of the fourth-placed 2012 Olympic team, and who also finished seventh with duet partner Jacqueline Simoneau at the 2016 Olympics. American Bill May has competed internationally for the USA for many years and won gold in the Mixed Duet Technical at the 2015 World Championships. They commentated virtually from their home locations over the judged footage.

Federations were also asked to participate in the exhibition gala, presented at the end of the competition. The Gala has become a highly anticipated addition to the FINA ASWS events, with imaginative costumes and props, creative interpretations of music, and adding dramatic flair making for a spectacular non-competitive program loved by audiences.

The schedule for the webcast is:

Saturday May 29 (All times are EDT / UTC-4) Sunday May 30 (All times are EDT / UTC-4)
 10:00 Solo Technical 10:00 Solo Free
10:37 Male Solo Technical 10:49 Male Solo Free
10:46 Duet Technical 11:08 Duet Free
11:34 Mixed Duet Technical 12:00 Mixed Duet Free
11:52 Team Technical 12:20 Team Free
12:03 Free Combination 12:38 Highlight Routine
  12:47 GALA

Start Lists, Schedules and Results will all be available on the event page. Results will be posted as each day concludes.

The livestream can be watched here.