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Synchronized Swimming

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SPORTS
July 4, 1988
Jennifer and Stephanie Sogawa, sisters from Santa Clara, won the duet competition for 17- and 18-year-olds Sunday at the Synchronized Swimming National Age Group Championships at Heritage Park in Irvine. The Sogawas defeated Nadine Bekker and Michelle Troy of Walnut Creek by a little more than a point. The Sogawas had a combined score of 138.785 points. Bekker and Troy scored 137.688. Bekker, however, won the 17-18 solo competition with 141.161 points.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2013 | By Valerie Nelson
Esther Williams, a swimming champion known for the MGM “aqua musicals” of the 1940s and '50s that turned her into a major Hollywood star, died early Thursday in her sleep, her longtime publicist, Harlan Boll, announced. She was 91. Her films had such titles as “Bathing Beauty,” “Neptune's Daughter” and “Million Dollar Mermaid” and received mixed reviews, but they packed theaters. For seven years she was in the top 10 box-office list. She and choreographer Busby Berkeley “turned a swimming pool into a seraglio, a sultan's dream with breathtaking production numbers of gorgeous girls swimming in geometric shapes around blue water while Esther, with orchids and exotic plants wound round her hair framing that beauteous face, was the centerpiece,” former Times columnist Jim Murray once wrote.
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SPORTS
April 3, 1992 | MARYANN HUDSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Part of the problem that synchronized swimming has in earning respect as a sport is that spectators see only the ballet-like movements that are demonstrated above the water. Beneath the surface, these athletes put their bodies through a rigorous workout. Betty Watanabe, continuing in her never-ending quest to popularize the sport, asked sports photographer Ken Levine to capture on film the athleticism exhibited underwater. The only problem was that Levine couldn't hold his breath long enough.
SPORTS
July 16, 2012 | By Lisa Dillman
He was the face of the Los Angeles Police Department, and forever frozen in a where-were-you moment, grimly stepping up in front of a media throng on that June afternoon in 1994. That's when LAPD Cmdr. David Gascon braced himself and announced that O.J. Simpson was a fugitive and that the department was "very unhappy" with the activities surrounding Simpson's failure to surrender. He pledged that the LAPD would find Simpson, and by nightfall, Simpson was taken into custody, which, of course, is the shorthand version of one of the wilder days in Los Angeles.
SPORTS
April 6, 1992 | MARYANN HUDSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It could be questioned why officials of U.S. Synchronized Swimming even bothered to hold an Olympic trials Sunday in duet competition. Everybody knew the winners would be the twins from Bristol, Conn., Sarah and Karen Josephson. Since the 1988 Olympics, where they won a silver medal, there hasn't been another American duet that compares.
SPORTS
April 4, 1992 | MARYANN HUDSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Personal-fitness trainer Frank Carrino was watching synchronized swimming on television one day and couldn't believe how long the swimmers stayed underwater. His curiosity piqued, he decided to hold his breath the next time the swimmers went under the surface to see if he could match them. He couldn't. "And I was on the couch," Carrino said. "They were moving around." So how long do these swimmers hold their breath, anyway?
SPORTS
September 30, 1988 | TRACY DODDS, Times Staff Writer
Tracie Ruiz-Conforto was dynamic, as always. A show-stopper. A star. She was bold and beautiful in her sparkling hot-pink suit as she performed a powerfully choreographed synchronized swimming routine at the Olympic Indoor Swimming Pool Friday morning to the stirring strains of Stravinsky's "The Firebird." Carolyn Waldo was dynamic, too.
SPORTS
April 5, 1992 | MARYANN HUDSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Kristen Babb-Sprague has portrayed Carmen. She has been a firebird, and she almost choreographed a new synchronized swim routine that would have made her seem wicked. But upon advice from a friend, Babb-Sprague topped all those previous routines at Saturday's U.S. Olympic Trials by introducing a new character. This time, she played herself. "A friend of mine said that if I am going to change my routine, I should change it to be something that's me," Babb-Sprague said.
SPORTS
August 8, 1992
In fitting symmetry, one set of identical twins beat another set Friday to win the gold medal in duet competition. Americans Karen and Sarah Josephson, sisters from Bristol, Conn., gained their first Olympic title and stretched their unbeaten streak to 16 meets. They beat Canadians Penny and Vicky Vilagos by 2 1/2 points to complete a U.S. sweep of the synchro golds. The Josephsons earned four 10s for technical merit and another four perfect marks for artistic impression, giving them 99.
SPORTS
April 2, 1992 | MARYANN HUDSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was Dick Klein, the NBC football director, who planted the idea in Betty Watanabe's head: She had to do something about those nose clips worn by synchronized swimmers. "A director gets fixated on them," Klein told Watanabe, who is director of U.S. Synchronized Swimming. "You have some of the most attractive female athletes, and that clip takes away from the beauty." Klein knew firsthand because he doubled as the director of NBC's coverage of synchronized swimming at the 1988 Olympics.
SPORTS
May 22, 2012 | By Diane Pucin
Mary Killman and Maria Koroleva were synchronized swimming rivals when they began the sport, competing against each other on Northern California club teams. Not much more than a year ago, they were paired together as an American duet. Though the U.S. failed to qualify for the London Olympics as a team, a failure that shocked Killman and Koroleva, they have qualified in the Olympic duet to salvage some success from the U.S. program. And Killman, 20, of Santa Clara, Calif., and Koroleva, 22, a Russian native with U.S. citizenship now living in Concord, Calif., are so determined to be side by side in the pool that they even share an apartment bedroom.
SPORTS
January 8, 2004 | Lauren Peterson, Times Staff Writer
Karlee Sterling chuckles at the memory, but at the time, the black eye and bloody nose she suffered after getting slammed in the face by an opposing player's head during one of her first varsity water polo games was no laughing matter. "I knew it was a rough game, but I don't think you really expect it to be like that," she said. "I got my nose hit and it was really big for a week." Nothing like that ever happened to synchronized swimmers.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 30, 2003 | Cathy Curtis, Special to The Times
Athletic boy meets shyly slinky girl undersea in Gerald Arpino's wispy "Sea Shadow," performed by the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday afternoon. Loosely based on the myth of Undine, a water sprite who acquires a soul only when she marries a human, the 1962 ballet is danced to the languid second movement of Maurice Ravel's Concerto in G for Piano and Orchestra. (Lucinda Carver was the soloist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2000 | STEPHANIE STASSEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
While the eyes of the world will be on Olympic synchronized swimmers this month, local attention was on nearly two dozen Valley girls who practiced relentlessly and overcame some obstacles to end up winning five medals in a major competition. The girls practiced their skills all summer at Granada Hills Pool, one of several sites citywide where the Recreation and Parks Department offers synchronized swimming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2000 | KARIMA A. HAYNES
A Granada Hills team edged the Fernangeles senior girls synchronized swimming team Sunday in the Amateur Athletic Federation's Southern California championships in Los Angeles. Santa Clarita teams placed third and fourth in the competition at Los Angeles Swim Stadium. In the championship round, judges awarded Granada Hills 54 points for its routine performed to the Olympic Games theme. Fernangeles of Sun Valley, which performed to music from Walt Disney's "Dinosaur," earned 52 points.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2000 | KARIMA A. HAYNES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Standing on the pool deck, they stretched their arms wide, quickly turned their heads skyward and gracefully leaped into the pool with barely a ripple. As the theme from Disney's "Dinosaur" blared through an underwater speaker, members of the senior girls synchronized swim team from Fernangeles Pool on Laurel Canyon Boulevard flipped over, pointed their toes and shot out of the water with arched backs and wide smiles.
SPORTS
July 15, 1991 | GENE WOJCIECHOWSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Harry Shearer, then a member of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" cast, nearly popped a neck vein the first time he saw synchronized swimming in the 1984 Summer Olympics. Disbelief doesn't do justice to his emotions. Amazement? Outrage? Yes, outrage, that's more like it. Flickering across his television screen were images of young women bobbing in and out of the water in some sort of aqua-ballet. As he watched, Shearer was overcome by a sense of indignation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2000 | STEPHANIE STASSEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
While the eyes of the world will be on Olympic synchronized swimmers this month, local attention was on nearly two dozen Valley girls who practiced relentlessly and overcame some obstacles to end up winning five medals in a major competition. The girls practiced their skills all summer at Granada Hills Pool, one of several sites citywide where the Recreation and Parks Department offers synchronized swimming.
SPORTS
August 28, 1999
Geena Davis is a lovely woman and a fine actress, but if she can get close to making the Olympic team two years after picking up a bow, is archery really a sport? DAVID C. HALL Whittier
SPORTS
March 21, 1999 | DIANE PUCIN
You hear about the Synchro Swans, a group of African American girls from southwest Los Angeles who have come together to form a synchronized swimming club. You hear about their precocious routines to funky music, about how the Swans have come to dominate city competitions in barely a year of existence. You hear how they model their performance costumes on Florence Griffith-Joyner's track suits. And then you hear about their coach, Ymajahi Brooks.
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