(KMSP) - After making a splash and winning the gold medal at the Gay Games in Paris last month, it’s hard for anyone to resist the call of the Subversive Sirens.
“It’s a little bit like a rollercoaster ride so we're a little still in the adrenaline rush of the excitement of the games and the support from the community," said swimmer Signe Harriday.
"When we went through customs and they asked us if we had anything to declare, I think we all said, ‘well I have this gold medal to declare," swimmer Tana Hargest added.
The synchronized swimming team made up of Suzy Messerole, Tana Hargest, Signe Harriday, Zoe Holloman and Nicki McCraken came to be after Harriday attended the Gay Games in Cleveland four years ago.
Even though none of them had much experience with the sport, they took the plunge practicing three to five times a week since last October, hoping their mission of black liberation, queer visibility, body positivity and equity in the aquatic arts would have a ripple effect.
"For us, representation really matters. So being who we are in the shapes, sizes, colors in the ways we move through the world and doing that with joy and celebration and unabashed love is really a part of what keeps us coming back to the pool and gets people excited about our story," Harriday said.
Not only did the team's Prince-themed water routine win them all gold medals in the combo swim category earlier this month, their joy and camaraderie performing it made them the darlings of Gay Games.
"How often can you say that? A queer person, a brown woman who does not fit the stereotype of a competitive athlete, getting so much love and support. It was awesome," Holloman said.
Long after their golden moment, the Subversive Sirens will continue to shine.
"This has been a journey that taught us about ourselves, taught us about each other and has ultimately been a deep gift and fun,” Harriday said.