World Aquatics Championships

by Benjamin Kerns

Aug 24, 2019

In North Carolina’s Gorges State Park, Turtleback Falls provides an all-natural water slide that ends in a 20-foot drop into the swift water below. The swimming hole is only recommended for strong swimmers. © Steveheap | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Sports

The FINA World Aquatics Championships are the premiere sporting event for anyone who loves the water. They feature competitions in a variety of aquatic sports, including diving, open water swimming and water polo, to name a few. The event is held every other year and features the best athletes on the water, including the likes of Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.

 

The championships occur in odd years, with the most recent this summer in Gwangju, South Korea. There are a total of six aquatic disciplines recognized under the International Swimming Federation— swimming, diving, high diving, open water, artistic swimming and water polo. The 2019 competition features participants from 194 countries, for a total of 5,128 swimmers, the largest-ever event in FINA history.

 

Each competition features a variety of sub-categories you’re probably familiar with if you’re ever watched the Olympics. Swimmers compete in races showcasing their different strokes, while divers perfect their forms from different heights. Perhaps most impressive, though, is the effortlessness showcased by synchronized swimmers.

 

The 2017 event saw the largest crowd numbers in history, with more than 485,000 spectators on hand. Tickets are hard to come by and sell out early. Even if you can’t manage to snag a seat, some events allow visitors to stand away from the pool to watch. As you can probably imagine, the host city tends to come alive during the Championships.

Live musical acts are featured near the facilities, while there are plenty of people selling food and drinks. At night, expect the local bars to be packed with aquatics lovers of every kind. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore a new city and mingle with tourists from all over the world in one place.

 

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