5-Time Olympic Champ Natalia Ishchenko Retires from Synchro. Swimming

Legendary Russian synchronized swimmer Natalia Ishchenko has announced her retirement from competition.

Ishchenko has garnered quite the hardware collection over her illustrious career. She’s a five-time Olympic champion, having won gold in the team competition at the last three Games as well as gold as part of a duet with Svetlana Romashina for the last two Games.

After her gold medal sweep at the 2012 London Games, she gave birth to her son Semyon in 2013– she took a break from the sport for that reason. Ishchenko came back in time to qualify for the Rio Games, her final Olympics, where she defended both of her 2012 golds.

The 30-year-old has also compiled 19 World Champs golds, 12 European Champs golds, and 2 silvers from each. That brings her major international gold medal total to 36, with 4 silvers as well.

Ishchenko has been a leader of the Russian surge in synchronized swimming this century. The sport was dominated largely by the U.S., Canada, and Japan in the 80s and 90s, until the 2000 Olympics when Russia swept the duet and team golds. Since the Sydney Games, Russia has won gold in both synchronized swimming events at every Olympics.

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4 years ago

The Land that is blessed with so many talented people in Sport. Capable to be dominant for decades in different fields to the level of creating, traditions and schools to follow: ice hockey, gymnastics, figure skating, synchronized swimming… and yet at the same time the worst example of ignorance to international norms and laws of clean sport.

4 years ago

Very impressive. I know we don’t normally think of Synchro as part of swimming, but it’s really cool to see a spotlight on these amazing athletes.

Reply to  CraigH
4 years ago

Its so tough.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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