2020 Viral Video of the Year: Silvia Solymosyová, Artistic Swimming
2020 saw a massive shift in the ‘viral video’ world, as TikTok became the undeniable platform-of-choice for the most viral video content on the internet, supplanting prior contenders Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
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And perhaps nobody in the aquatics community rode that wave better than Slovakian synchronized swimmer Silvia Solymosyová.
The 17-year old posted her first TikTok video on December 29, 2019, and already has pulled in more than 1.1 million followers. She has multiple videos that have cracked 1-million likes on the platform, and is leading a rebirth of artistic swimming (aka synchronized swimming) as a social media powerhouse in the aquatic world.
Pool swimmers have long jeered their artistic cousins in synchronized swimming and diving, preferring instead the “objectivity” of the clock (although one might argue that the judging of legal breaststroke has become as subjective as anything synchronized swimming does).
But on the internet, especially in the short-form social media world, the artistry of synchronized swimming plays well as a unique twist on the dance trends that rule TikTok. There is literally nobody in the aquatic community better-equipped to catch the momentum of TikTok than synchronized swimmers.
While most of your favorite pool swimmers are not yet on TikTok, Solymosyová and other synchro athletes have made it big on the platform.
The videos are creative, innovative, and show incredible control and artistry. She even had the most-liked video on SwimSwam’s Instagram account of the last year, with over 22,000 likes (link).
She even got a cameo in a music video for Dua Lipa’s single Levitating (link).
She’s not just a novelty act, either. Solymosyová was selected for the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, serving as one of two reserves in Slovakia’s free routine combination team that placed 13th.
Swimmers have been known to be a little stiff, a little bland, a little regimented, and she even poked a little fun at that in this video on Instagram (link). Solymosyová’s videos are the opposite of that, and maybe the paradox is that a little more freedom to get distracted in the water is what we all need to keep us more focused in the water.
The video below was Solymosyová’s most-liked, with almost 7 million likes This could be the biggest thing that’s happened to synchronized swimming outside of Russia in a generation. Don’t be surprised if your swimmers are tuned in to ‘that other aquatic sport’ next summer in Tokyo to see one of their TikTok favorites compete.
@sisa_solymosyovaLyrical WAP but underwater💦 voice: @imalecchambers ✨dc:@besperon @charlidamelio ✨ Reply to @christenvie25 #WAP #underwaterdance #artisticswimmer
- 2019 – Matthew Broussard Standup
- 2018 – The Year of the Vlog
- 2017 – Adam Peaty Mirror Breaststroke
- 2016 – Fu Yuanhui Doesn’t Know She Won Olympic Bronze
- 2015 – Louisville Airport Training
- Slip ‘n’ Swim – gives a whole new definition to the meaning of “swimming downhill,” but the relay of Reese Dehen, Allison Schrank, Megan Schultze, and Emily Pawlaski put together the most-viewed video on our Instagram channel of 2020. You all watched this “American Record” race a whopping 345,000 times.
- SwimDad of the Year – When Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova posted this video of her swimming on her kitchen counter, the world marveled at the incredible core strength it took to hold herself up! The video has almost 37,000 likes on her Instagram channel, and was viewed millions more times around the world as it was picked up by mainstream media channels around the world. But Aviana Zahara and her dad missed the part where you’re not supposed to show the person holding your feet off camera, and the result was even better. We don’t have an official SwimDad of the Year category in our Swammy Awards, so instead we’ll give an honorable mention for best Viral Video of the Year: