Anticipation swells from the depths of the aqua blue pool as you salivate waiting and watching the sensational synchronized Olympic Swimmer Mariya Koroleva prepare to magically compete and perform.
Please don’t be taken aback as she and her beautiful partner in duet Anita Alvarez yawn before they begin to synchronize.
It’s nothing personal.
It’s more about their breathing warmups. It slows down the heart rate and has a calming effect.
When you watch in awe of Mariya, and many have, she does have a certain unique flair.
After immigrating to the United States, Ms. Koroleva began participating in synchronized swimming, and competed at Stanford University. She was a member of the teams that won silver medals in the duet and team competitions at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Assimilating at 9 years old was very hard for our shining star.
At the time she didn’t know English. Her parents thought it would be a good idea for her to do an after-school activity so when she received a flier at school for a synchronized swimming crash course, she decided to give it a try.
After the two weeks, she joined the year-round team and the rest is history.
There, she began to compete in national youth competitions in synchronized swimming.
Later, being accepted to Stanford University, she experienced considerable success in collegiate and national competitions.
In the 2009 collegiate championships, she finished second in team and figures, third in trio, and fifth in duet. That same year at the national championships she came in third in team and fourth in duet. During the following year’s collegiate championships, she finished second place in the trio competition and third in the duet.
Naturally leading up to her 2016 Olympic appearance there was a lot of buzz about Mariya.
They were swelling with excitement at excellesports.com reporting, “With a pair of silver medals from the 2011 Pan American Games and a bronze medal from the 2015 Pan American Games, Olympic synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva heads to Rio ready to go.
Along with her duet partner, Anita Alvarez, the duo have years of international success highlighting their experience and talent in the water. They first paired together in 2015 placing sixth overall at the French Open and at the 2016 German Open and French Open, they walked away with two bronze medals at each competition.”
The 2016 Rio Olympics is Mariya’s second Olympic appearance. She finished 11th in the duet event alongside former partner Mary Killman in the 2012 Games. With new duet partner Anita Alvarez, she finished 10th at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Very gregarious, Mariya makes for an exceptional interview.
When asked at excellesports.com about her advice for those with high aspirations she responded, “I would just say to go above and beyond when working towards a goal. No one ever became great by doing the bare minimum, so work when no one is watching and always try to find an edge over your competition. I feel like that’s what has helped me get to where I am today.”
Researched by the global entertainment giant cosmopolitan.com when asked by NBC about the importance of being a team player, she smiled, “I think the great thing is that we get along really well, and we have a lot of fun together so it’s really enjoyable for me to have a partner I can laugh with … but also who can be there for me if I’m having a hard time.”
The village that Mariya originated from is still a part of her team and community.
The historic part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities northeast of Moscow that have played an important role in Russian history.
The city’s population is 591,486 as of the 2010 Census.
Yaroslavl and its local area have a typical temperate continental climate, in comparison to central and western Europe. This makes for a climate with more snowy, colder, but dry winters and typically temperate, warm summers.
A respected regional insider russiatrek.org further educates, “Yaroslavl is one of the few provincial cities of Russia, where you can find all the main directions of Russian architecture of the 16th-20th centuries. The central part of Yaroslavl, built in accordance with the general plan approved by Catherine the Great in 1778, is a remarkable example of urban art of the Classical period. Buildings in the Art Nouveau style, constructed at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, are the true architectural gems of the urban landscape.”
As expected the world travel experts at lonelyplanet.com embrace Yaroslavl and smile, “Yaroslavl’s center is dotted with onion domes like no other place in Russia. It indeed boasts a record-breaking 15-dome church.
However, most churches and houses gracing the quaint city center are products of 17th- to 19th-century merchants competing to outdo each other in beautifying their city. Much of that beauty remains unscathed by Soviet development.”
Now you can see why Mariya has such high life expectations and goal aspirations.
When you live and breathe the regional spirit where she emanated from, it’s about beautifying what was once thought already the most beautiful.
Always seek to improve.
Always seek to get better.
So much about Mariya confirms what we envision about the connecting and expanding world of dignified and co-operative female sports united.
Mariya looks wonderful in leotards in part because she used to be a competitive gymnast. Many synchronized swimmers are former gymnasts.
In the new world of female sports a young girl growing up can dream to be anyone she aspires to be where the worlds awaits in a warm embrace.
Always seeking to improve, Mariya is a perfect example of that.
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OPENING PHOTO NBC Olympics
Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.