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GOING FOR THE GOLD

Look for proud parents Tom Finn of Buffalo and Susan Jarvis of Snyder in the Aquatic Center in Sydney, Australia next Thursday and Friday in front of a sellout crowd.

Wearing T-shirts that read "Bridget Finn, Olympic USA" they'll be cheering for their 26-year-old daughter who swims with the U.S. Synchronized Swimming team.

Bridget, who started the sport when she was 8, attended Buffalo City Honors High School through her junior year, and then moved to Santa Clara, Calif., to swim with some of this country's best teams. After graduating from high school, she received a synchronized swimming scholarship from Stanford University, the first one the school ever awarded.

Bridget, who is competing in her first Olympics, trains from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week, doing ballet moves, aerobics and practicing routines, her father said.

After Tom Finn recovers from 24 hours of travel, he and a small contingent from Buffalo will be ready to offer their moral support.

"It's fabulous just to go and watch," said Finn, who paid $405 for a ticket to the finals. "To compete in the Olympics is winning. If they get a medal, that's the icing on the cake."

The team, whose toughest competition is expected to come from Russia, Japan and Canada, has been experimenting with new choreography, including a double tower lift in which two swimmers, perched one on top of the other, are hoisted out of the water by their teammates.

Bridget Finn, who has been communicating by e-mail this week, sent this message after returning from training camp: "The practice days were long and hard, but the team is looking really strong. We're back in the village now, all geared up to show the other countries we are back with a vengeance."

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