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Title The Ohio State University Synchronized Swimming Program, 1928-1995: The People. The Tradition. The Excellence
URL
Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department EDU Physical Activity and Educational Services
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher The Ohio State University
Abstract The detailed study of everyday events and experiences that has been a hallmark of women¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s sport history has included very little about the institutional histories and sport experiences of women who engage in sports organized exclusively for women (i.e., those that have no male counterpart at any level), such as synchronized swimming. Clearly, not all women have the same institutional histories or sporting experiences, nor do they have the same opportunity to share their voice, individually or collectively. Importantly, however, the histories, traditions and experiences of women who partake in female dominate sports often vary markedly from those who participate and compete in traditionally male sporting activities, especially at the collegiate level. By investigating the institutional history and sporting experiences of the synchronized swimmers at Ohio State from 1928-1995 and incorporating those experiences into historical context, I attempted to discover and reveal the depth, variety, and complexities of these female sporting experience in a sport, organized solely for women. I examined the institutional history of this program from a variety of historical perspectives to better understand the significance the sport has had at Ohio State and in the lives of these collegiate women. I researched the following questions: 1. Why is it important to document the institutional history of the synchronized swimming program at Ohio State? 2. What is the significance of these sporting experiences to the larger body of Ohio State and women¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s sport history scholarship? 3. Who were the pioneering women (and men) responsible for creating, developing, and maintaining one of the most extraordinary women¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s collegiate sports program in the country? 4. How and why did these women get involved in the sport of synchronized swimming at Ohio State? 5. How and why has Ohio State become such a powerhouse in the sport? These and other questions were designed to reveal and gain insight into a female sport that, for the most part, has been largely ignored. The purpose of this dissertation is to document the institutional history of this unique sport by supplementing Ohio State archival materials with information and personal stories provided by the participants and coaches of this remarkable program through surveys and interviews. This project will begin to allow synchronized swimmers at Ohio State to find their voices, to tell their stories, and to assert themselves as historical subjects, not only in Ohio State athletic history, but also in the larger milieu of women¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s sport history.
Subjects/Keywords History; Physical Education; Sports; Synchronized Swimming; Ohio State Synchronized Swimming; Swan Club
Contributors Fields, Sarah (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:osu1338311922
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor The Ohio State University

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…vii Chapter 1: Decades of Excellence .........................................................................................1 Chapter 2: The Origins of Synchronized Swimming to 1969................................................17 Chapter 3: The…

…158 Appendix B: Ohio State Synchronized Swimming Survey ...................................................159 Appendix C: Survey Respondents by Season of Competition...............................................168 Appendix D: Follow-Up Telephone and…

…In Person Interview Questions ..............................173 Appendix E: Interview Respondents by Season of Competition ...........................................175 Appendix F: Ohio State Synchronized Swimming Survey Responses Samples…

…history is not the beloved football or basketball teams, nor a male varsity sports program for that matter. This distinction instead belongs to the women‟s synchronized swimming program which has won an unprecedented twenty-seven national championship…

…titles in its thirty-five year history as a collegiate varsity sport (Media Guide, 2012). Mary Jo Ruggieri, the head coach of Ohio State‟s synchronized swimming team from 1970 to 1995 (in addition to her successor Linda Lichter-Witter, 1995…

…States Synchronized 1 Swimming Inc., (USSSI) Collegiate Athletes of the Year, 13 Olympians, 11 Pan American Game participants (plus one coach), and 60 National Team Members representing seven different countries (Media Guide…

…2012). Until recently synchronized swimming was the only female varsity sport program at Ohio State to capture a national championship title, not to mention twenty-seven of them. What is even more impressive is the fact that the twenty-seven titles…

…won by the synchronized swimming program account for nearly half the total number of national championship titles ever won by all thirty-six varsity sport programs combined in Ohio State‟s illustrious athletic history (Media Guide, 2012)…

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