RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 29. THE United States Synchronized Swimming Team secured its spot at the 2008 Olympic Games with a gold medal performance at the Pan American Games. The last day of competition at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Park featured the Team Free event. For the first time in the history of the sport, the Pan American Games served as the Olympic Qualifier. Each participating country came to Brazil in search of a gold medal in order to solidify a trip to Beijing.
The United States entertained the crowd with its "mime" theme and swam to a 95.667 to secure its spot on the medal stand. Canada posted a 95.251 which was good enough for a silver medal while host country Brazil scored a 90.750.
"We came here to earn a spot for Beijing," said co-captain Kim Probst following the competition. "The greatest part is we were able to enjoy the sport and the atmosphere as well."
Medalists were determined by combining scores from Thursday's Team Tech routines with today's Team Free routines. The United States has earned every Pan Am Team title since the inclusion of the event in 1963, with the exceptions of 1983 and 1999 in which Canada took home the crown.
Members of the 2007 United States Pan American Synchronized Swimming Team were as follows: Brooke Abel (Fallbrook, Calif.), Janet Culp (Littleton, Colo.), Kate Hooven (Pleasanton, Calif.), Christina Jones (Fremont, Calif.), Becky Kim (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Meghan Kinney, (Mission Viejo, Calif.) Andrea Nott (San Jose, Calif.), Annabelle Orme (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Jillian Penner (Seattle, Wash.) and Kim Probst (Troy, N.Y.).
Special thanks to USA Synchro for contributing this report.