Double Dutch in the Olympic Pool

SHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES

SISTER ACT: The Van der Veldens trained in California with '96 gold medalist Nathalie Schneyder Bartleson

Talk about being in synch. Dutch synchronized swimmers Sonja and Bianca van der Velden were even born, via caesarean section, at exactly the same moment 28 years ago in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. In the water at age 3, they started off as speed swimmers. But after trying synchronized swimming they began competing — and winning — at the national level. Bianca defends their choice of this obscure, often ridiculed sport. "It's more than just ballet in the water," she says, noting that speed, power and grace are also required. "People think it's only a smile on the face, but...

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