FINA Rebrands to World Aquatics, National Team Duet Squads and Schedule Announced
by Alyssa Jacobs, USA Artistic Swimming
Many exciting announcements and changes have been made in the artistic swimming world at the international and national level including an organization rebrand and announcement of the 2023 competition calendar.
FINA has rebranded to become World Aquatics following a vote at the Extraordinary General Congress. FINA has been in operation as the international organization representing aquatic sportsfor over 114 years. The organization boasts 209 member federations that maintain responsibility for swimmers, artistic swimmers, divers, high divers, open water swimmers and water polo players. World Aquatics aims to make this a step in a series of changes that it hopes will lead to better serving athletes by broadening its scope and increasing engagement.
World Aquatics also announced the World Cup dates and locations. The World Cup events, previously called the World Series, are optional competitions for international artistic swimmers representing their respective countries. They serve as great preparation for World Championships and Olympic Games, and athletes can earn prize money from points collected through podium placements. Team USA plans to participate in all three World Cup stops and the Super Final. The national team will start their season north in Markham, Canada from March 16-18. They will also make stops in Cairo, Egypt in April and Montpellier, France in May The date and location for the concluding Super Final have not been announced. These competitions will help the squad prepare for World Championships in Japan and the pinnacle of the season that will occur at the Pan American Games in Chile where the continental qualification for the 2024 Olympics will be decided.
For other age groups, August will see both the World Masters Championship hosted in Japan and the Youth Artistic Swimming Championship held in Greece. The date and location for the junior event has yet to be announced. USA Artistic Swimming is currently seeking applicants for the head coaching positions for both the junior and youth teams.
Finally, the results of the duet and mixed duet trials were announced, and several additions have been made to the squads. Anita Alvarez, Natalia Vega, Megumi Field and Dani Ramirez retain their positions on the duet squad and three additional athletes earned spots. All four of the returning athletes swam duet at least once last season. Most recently at World Championships, Alvarez paired with Field for the technical routine and Vega swam alongside Field for the free category. Full time training athletes Jacklyn Luu, who rejoined the team after her Stanford career, and former junior athlete Calista Liu will now also be a part of the duet squad. Remote training athlete Ruby Remati, who is currently swimming for Ohio State, will be eligible to swim duet when she rejoins the team in full time training. She paired with Alvarez in several previous seasons. For mixed duets, Kenny Gaudet and Claudia Coletti, who swam most of the mixed routines last season, keep their places, and Alvarez and Vega add dual-duet squad to their resumes. This will be Alvarez’s first time training mixed duet while Vega returns to the category after representing the USA alongside Bill May at 2019 World Championships. The final decision for who will swim at the competitions will be made closer to the start of the season, but the coaching staff and evaluators reported being extremely impressed with the elevated level of talent displayed at trials and are optimistic about the trajectory of our country in both categories.