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Paris Olympics Debuts Male "Artistic Swimmers"

Swimmers warmup before the start of an evening aquatics session at the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Men will take part in Olympic Games artistic swimming for the first time at the 2024 Paris Games with the decision hailed on Thursday as a "milestone" for the sport.

Male swimmers will be eligible to compete in the eight-person team event with a maximum of two men in each team, officials said.

"This announcement marks a milestone in artistic swimming history," said Italy's Giorgio Minisini, a world champion in 2017 and 2022.

"Our sport's evolution towards inclusivity is going on fast forward, and this decision from IOC and World Aquatics will help us become an example for the whole Olympic movement. "

Formerly known as "synchronized swimming," artistic swimming has been in the Olympic Games since 1984.

Men have been allowed to compete at the world championships since 2015. The 2022 edition in Budapest offered two mixed duet events as well eight competitions just for women.

"The inclusion of men in artistic swimming was once considered the impossible dream," said Bill May, an American swimmer who was the first ever male world champion in the mixed duet technical event in 2015.

"This proves that we should all dream big. The male athletes have endured. Now, through their perseverance and the help and support of so many, all athletes may stand alongside each other equally, reaching for Olympic glory."