27.4.09

NOT
SYNCHRONISED

Go Niklas!

The world's only male synchronised swimmer
is fighting international rules that have
banned him from competing at
London's 2012 Olympic Games.

Niklas Stoepel, 17, is one of Germany's top
youth synchro-swimmers and the only
boy in his high school team of
girls in Wattenscheid.

But swimming's international ruling body
FINA has banned him from representing
his country and refused to allow
him to compete overseas.


"They rejected the request. I believe that
officials just don't want to see any men in
this sport," said Niklas, who shaves his
legs and wears women's costumes
covered in sequins.


"You can already sense that at the national
level many of the judges are more strict in
their scoring of me than they are with my
female competitors. It's not fair - but I
haven't given up my dream of one day
competing in an international
championship," he added.


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