Staff/April 30, 2022
Today is the DAY that we kick off competitions, exhibitions, camps, educational events for 2022 involving athletes with disabilities in artistic swimming for this year! Last year 2021, the nonprofit USA Organization, Artistic Swimming for Athletes w/Disabilities (Artistic Swim AWD) rallied with the Whatsapp World AWD Coaching Group to determine a day we can all celebrate our athletes' w/disabilities (AWD) in artistic swimming.
There has been a grass roots movement since 2015 to formally include AWD in local, national and international competitions in hopes to add the sport of artistic swimming in future high-performance competitions and games such as the Paralympics. Artistic Swimming has been an Olympic Sport (Synchronized Swimming) since 1984. The Artistic Swim AWD Organization has been leading the grass roots movement globally to bring back AWD in a sport which abandoned them upon its inception in the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) in the 1940s. The sport, which was originally called 'water ballet' and evolved into synchronized swimming, was started in North America by an athlete with a disability, Annette Kellerman. So, it is fitting that we celebrate our AWD globally with a day that recognizes their efforts and achievements to come back to a sport they originally belonged to.
In April 2021, State Assemblyman Evan Low, recognized the Artistic Swim AWD Organization for its efforts and formerly announced April 30th as Artistic Swim AWD Day. Globally, we celebrate it as World AWD Artistic Swim Day to include the talented athletes from all over the world who are part of a movement to be recognized in this sport and to one day see it included as a Paralympic sport. Now that is something to celebrate NOW and in the future!