FORT LAUDERDALE – The International
Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced that Russian synchronized swimmer
Anastasia Davydova will join 17 others as honorees who will enter the
International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Davydova is the
fourteenth member of the class to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27,
in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, Open water swimmer Maarten Van Der Weijden,
swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN) and Takeshi
HaloHirose (USA)
Georges Vallerey, Jr. (FRA), Alain Bernard (FRA), diver
Zhang Xiuwei
(CHN) and Laura Wilkinson (USA), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA),
water polo players Osvaldo Codaro (ARG), Andr
ás Bodnár (HUN) and Bridgette Gusterson, coach
Dick Jochums (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier have been announced.

Anastasia Davydova—nicknamed “Asya”— was born on February 2, 1983. She is a five-time Olympic champion, thirteen-time world champion, seven-time European champion in synchro-nized swimming.. Davydova’s specialty was the duet event and she is the only swimmer in his-tory to repeat as an Olympic duet champion. Her routines were on the cutting edge of choreog-raphy, as well as being technically superior. In 2010, FINA declared her the best synchronized swimmer of the XXI century and in 2012 she was the standard bearer of the Russian Olympic team at the closing ceremony of the Games in London. 

Anastasia’s first sport was figure skating. Then she saw artistic gymnastics on TV and she left the ice for the ribbon and mat, but not for long. At the age of six, her mother took her for swim lessons where she was exposed to synchronized swimming. She loved the sport so much that she even gave up her favorite foods: chips, cakes and chocolates.  You see, she was a little chubby and the coach put her on a trial period to see if she would lose weight. While she really wanted the “bad food,” she loved synchronized swimming more and the rest, as they say, is his-tory.

In a sport that usually forces
athletes to be patient as they build international reputations, Anastasia
Davydova did not have to wait very long to move to the top. At age 15, she was
paired with Anastasia Ermakova (ISHOF 2015). Because they were very successful
at the junior level, judges were familiar with them by the time they became
seniors. At their first major senior international event, they placed second in
duet at the 2001 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. The next year they
performed a nearly flawless routine, including five perfect 10s in the final
free program, to win the European Championships. At the 2003 World
Championships in Barcelona, Davydova and Ermakova won their first senior world
duet title; the Russian team was also victorious. Davydova won team and duet at
the Olympic qualifying tournament in Athens in April 2004 and the European
Championships in Madrid in May 2004. At the Olympic Games in Athens, Davydova and
Ermakova won gold with an impeccable routine, scoring a perfect 50 for artistic
impression (receiving a score of ten from all five judges). In the team event,
they also won gold, even after a music malfunction required them repeat their


Leading up to the Beijing Games,
Davydova, Ermakova and the Russian
were unbeatable, winning every event they entered. At Beijing, the pair again
won duet gold, earning a combined 99.251 and all perfect 10s for technical
merit. The Russian team also won, leaving Ermakova and Davydova with a record
four gold synchro medals.

After Ermakova retired, Davydova began
training with Svetlana Romashina. But after the pair won at the 2011 FINA World
Championships, Davydova stepped aside in favor of
Natalia Ishchenko
to focus on the team event, her studies at the Moscow Institute of Economics,
Politics, and Law and on coaching youth at her local club. When She announced
her retirement after winning gold in the team event at the 2012 Olympic Games,
she also announced that she would turn her energy to coaching.  She wanted to be part of keeping the Russians
on top. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Russia won both gold medals.

Today, Anastasia Davydova is the
director of the Olympic Synchronized Swimming Center, she is a Cavalier of
three Russian state orders, is vice- president of the Russian Olympic
Committee, Chairman of the Council of Assistance to the Russian Olympic
Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Russian Olympic Committee.  She also still avoids eating her favorite
bad foods and is in great

About the ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame,
established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance
of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water
safety of all adults and children. 
It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming
Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming,
the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players,
synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and
education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role
models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at
954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email

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