One of the most decorated swimmers in the national team said that being a “hairy bear” for one week is not a problem for top class athletes who have dominated all major synchronized swimming events for twenty years in a row starting with the 2000 Sydney Games.

Hairy legs are the key to success,” Shishkina explained. “All the elements that we do with our legs are strictly calculated in terms of degree angles and height over the water surface. When we immerse into the water we feel it with our skin, and the most sensitive receptors on the legs are located around the hair follicles.”

We stop shaving legs approximately one week before competitions. Hairs touch the water and we can feel the height that we take over the surface. If we shave legs sensitivity becomes worse and it can affect synchronism of our moves. You can be a hairy bear for one week to reach a perfect result,” the 14-time world champion added.

Shishkina and her famous teammates are getting ready to defend her Olympic title taken four years ago in Rio.

However, her plans to add one more Olympic medal to her impressive collection of awards were changed by the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the Tokyo Games to move to next summer.

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