Bill May, An Artistic Pioneer And Champion
Courtesy of FINA.
Bill May, an excellent open water swimmer who has won open water events like the 10 km U.S. Masters Swimming event in Lake Mead in Las Vegas and who trains like a madman while starring in the Cirque du Soleil O! show in Las Vegas, continues to be a pioneer in the water.
“Bill is, in my opinion, one of the most graceful, hard-working, dedicated, skilled athletes in the world,” observed Steven Munatones. “He was selected as the U.S. Synchronized Swimming Athlete of the Year in 1998 and 1999 – and he still is world-class 22 years later. Bill can certainly hold his breath longer than any competitive pool or marathon swimmer in the world, but if he see him workout in the pool and swim in the open water and perform on stage, you begin to realize that he is one of a kind.”
The 42-year-old May won the first leg of the 2021 FINA Artistic Swimming World Series that was jointly presented by USA and Canada as a way to schedule Artistic Swimming World Series events in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual event, televised live broadcast on FINAtv, featured previously filmed videos of routines from federations around the world. The videos were delivered in advance and judged by a full panel of international FINA judges. The final webcast events featured the routine videos with all scores as well as sport presentation and commentary.
The FINA Artistic Swimming World Series is a competitive circuit created to raise the profile of the newly re-branded sport of artistic swimming around the world while creating more structured competition calendar for national teams.
May won a gold medal in the Solo Free, the first time a male Solo event had been integrated into a FINA competition with Spain’s Dennis Gonzalez Boneu capturing silver. May said, “This solo is very special to me and it followed the decisions made about male inclusion and lowering of numbers of female athletes in the Olympics. This was an opportunity for myself to say, we are disappointed, we are upset about this, but we stand as one, we will rise above this, we will fight for this. This gave me an opportunity to stand up for what I believe. This virtual competition was a blessing and gave me the opportunity to do something special for myself.“
In the Team Free event, USA earned 87.5667 points for the gold medal with male swimmer for the first time, outperformed Spain to win the gold medal. In addition to the United States and Spain, Belarus, Aruba, Sweden, Liechtenstien, San Marino, Portugal and Australia also competed.
The next leg will be physically staged in Budapest, Hungary on April 9th – 11th with the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final held on June 11th – 13th in Barcelona, Spain.
For more information on the Series, visit here.
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