SSU Golden Pair Make Waves in Florida

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For the second year in a row, Aurore Simonnet (NASA Education and Public Outreach) and Frank Nides (Facilities Administration) participated in the U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Their interpretation of the “Tango de Roxanne” elicited great enthusiasm in the public and won them the gold medal. Simonnet also swam in the solo and team categories and won gold and silver, respectively.

Simonnet who has been a synchronized swimmer since the age of 13, has participated in numerous competitions, including the FINA World Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships, placing high in various events.

Nides, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to synchronized swimming; this being his second event. He has been very quick to catch on, says Simonnet who recruited Nides two and a half years ago to partner with her for last year’s competition.

“I am always looking forward to practicing with Frank. Saying we have too much fun swimming together is an understatement!” says Simonnet.

“It was awesome because after practicing long and hard, we did fantastic!” says Nides about his latest experience at Nationals.

They have already set their eyes on next year’s competition but a bigger prize would be for them to be able to participate in the next FINA World Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships to be held in Montreal, Canada in 2014. FINA, which sets the rules for the international swimming competition does not allow men to participate in this synchronized swimming event.

Simonnet has started an online campaign to get FINA to allow mixed teams to participate in Montreal.To help them achieve this goal, the campaign can be found at and