>> Just as men were getting involved, a dramatic renaming has synchronized swimmers up in arms. Governing body, FINA, replacing the words synchronized with artistic, and in an attempt to widen the sport's popularity. But nearly 11,000 people weren't impressed, at global petition quickly gathered signatures against the change. Concerned it does nothing to portray the athleticism of the sport, and stating the word artistic will, quote, be more a deterrent to males than a calling card.
I'm Reuters reporter Scarlett Cvitanovich, at this pool in central London where the Out to Swim Angels beginners squad trains every week. It bills itself as one of the few, if not the only squad in Britain, with a majority of men. It's only recently that men can even compete at the top level, and they still can't go to the Olympics.
Because while women can now compete in all Olympic sports, males are still banned from rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized make their artistic swimming. Many men aren't even aware of the sport, despite their involvement dating back over 100 years. Out to Swim manager Steven says interest and the ability to compete internationally are linked.
>> I mean if men were allowed to compete, I would encourage more people to. If more people were participating, then there'd be more information to change the rules.>> And his teammate Ben joined the Out to Swim squad just months ago, and unsure about the new name.>> Cuz for me I'm not artistic at all.
And I think if I'd have seen it as artistic swimming, I would just presume that I wouldn't be able to do it.>> They're hoping whispers men were to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. And while that's been ruled out, the swim community is holding its breath males will eventually be eligible, no matter what the sport is called.
>> And just to kind of break away from the idea that boys will always play football and rugby.>> Yeah.>> Yeah.>> At least it gives them more of a choice, rather than just A or B. So it would be nice to have an option C,