Strolling into a retail store to purchase might be on your to do list that day, and if you live in or near San Francisco, the retail Team Member that might ring up your product, not too long ago just climbed out of the pool in Rio in front of millions around the world.

And to think, you didn’t even recognize her.

As super star Synchronized Swimmer Anita Alvarez probably knows all too well is that while her sport sparkles, dazzles and mesmerizes, once her performance is over, few would recognize her on the street or her partner in brilliance, Mariya Koroleva who by the way, once worked in a retail store. article, photo found

Maybe the same one where you made your purchase.

It’s okay.

Anita is getting all of the attention in the right global places. article, NBC Olympics photo credit

When you look at her resume at you can understand why.

  • Olympian (2016)
  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 9th

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2015 – team tech 10th, team free 12th, duet tech 12th, duet free 11th

Other Career Highlights

  • 2016: 27th German Open, 3rd (Duet); French Open, 3rd (Duet)
  • 2015: FINA World Championships, 10th (Team Tech), 12th (Team Free), 11th (Duet Free), 12th (Duet Tech); Pan Am Games, 3rd (Team); US Nationals, 1st (Team); French Open, 6th (Duet)
  • 2014: Junior World Championships (Team and Duet); US Open, 1st (Duet), 1st (Team); Brazil Open, 7th (Duet); French Open, 11th (Duet); East Zone Athlete of the Year
  • 2013: UANA Pan American Championships, 1st (Team); US Junior Nationals, 12th (Solo), 15th (Figures)
  • 2012: US Junior Nationals, 12th (Solo), 15th (Figures); US Age Group Nationals, 1st (Solo), 1st (Figures), 2nd (Duet)
  • 2011: US Junior Nationals, 21st (Solo), 49th (Figures); US Age Group Nationals, 3rd (Solo), 4th (Figures), 1st (Duet), 2nd (Team)
  • 2010: US Age Group Nationals, 9th (Solo), 31st (Figures)
  • 2008: US Age Group Nationals, 7th (Solo), 9th (Figures), 8th (Team)
  • 2007: US Age Group Nationals, 12th (Solo), 19th (Figures), 4th (Trio)

Whew. After all of that, doesn’t it make you want to go have a long swim?

Growing up with her mother who was also a synchronized swimmer surely had an impact on Anita’s desire to enter the aqua blue.

Fortunately the hard work didn’t frighten her away.

In fact she seems to thrive on it. article, US Performance Academy photo

A former accomplished gymnast, it’s widely known and admired that she and her partner Mariya train eight to nine hours a day at least six days a week. They train in ballet and weightlifting. They practice their routine on the ground, a process called land drilling, in order for the synchronization to be flawless. They also regularly attend physical therapy sessions.

She has sacrificed much, once living with a host family in California in order to train with the USA Junior National Synchro Team.

Born in Amherst, New York, Anita was raised in Buffalo.

The NFL Bills have made the city well-known but besides knowing that teams hate to play there in frigid December, what do you really know about Buffalo? article, photo

Let’s visit the village that helped produce Anita.

The doorway to Buffalo is filled with unique doorways.

At the city site they enlighten, “Buffalo’s collection of architectural gems is world-renowned for many reasons; because of the designer, like Sullivan or Yamasaki, because of its cultural significance, because of its lasting legacy on Buffalo’s history, or because it is simply one-of-a-kind. Whatever the reason, many of these architectural icons are so striking because of their doorways and entrances. As it’s typically the first thing you see, we like to think there’s something truly special about stepping through the front door of these buildings.”

Readers? There are 21 doorways you need to see. Please check out this link.

Now that you have walked through the door, here are some basics this All American City.

Buffalo is a city in western New York state and the county seat of Erie County, on the eastern shores of Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River. article, The Buffalo News photo credit

As of 2014, Buffalo is New York State’s 2nd-most populous city after New York City, with 258,703 residents. The metropolitan area has a population of 1.13 million.

The city’s nicknames include “The Queen City”, “The Nickel City”, and “The City of Good Neighbors”.

Buffalo is on Lake Erie‘s eastern end, opposite Fort Erie, Ontario, and at the beginning of the Niagara River, which flows northward over Niagara Falls and into Lake Ontario. The city is 50 miles (80 km) south-southeast from Toronto. Buffalo’s position on Lake Erie, facing westward, makes it one of the few major cities on the East Coast to have sunsets over a body of water.

The Buffalo area’s varied cuisine is the result of variety of cultural contributions, including Italian, Irish, Jewish, German, Polish, African-American, Greek, Indian and American influences.

In 2015, the National Geographic Society ranked Buffalo third on their list of “The World’s Top Ten Food Cities”.

The world travelers at Lonely Planet attract a crowd in their admiration of Buffalo, “The winters are long and cold, and abandoned industrial buildings dot the skyline, but Buffalo stays warm with a vibrant creative community and strong local pride.

Settled by the French in 1758, the city is believed to derive its name from beau fleuve (beautiful river). With power from nearby Niagara Falls, it boomed in the early 1900s; Pierce-Arrow cars were made here, and it was the first American city to have electric streetlights. Its strong bones include art-deco masterpieces and a gracious park system laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, of NYC’s Central Park fame. It’s about an eight-hour trip from NYC through the Finger Lakes region and only half an hour south of Niagara Falls.”

Now that you are inside of the car, we’re going to travel north to Niagara Falls and see the view from the Buffalo side. Relax. It’s only 30 minutes away. Besides, we have a friend coming along that will guide us.

At with vibrancy they share, “Jaw-dropping scenic beauty. Thundering roars. Mind-boggling cataracts. Shimmering rainbows. And the raw power of 4-6 million cubic feet of water rushing over the edges every minute of the day. Comprised of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls is a true natural wonder that plays Cupid to lovers, a muse to artists and a pied piper to millions of visitors each year.”

Wow, what a view! article, photo found

The only thing more entrancing than that is watching Anita perform effortlessly in the pool.

Her global fans are looking forward to seeing more of Anita.

At only 19 years old, this was her first Olympics and given her goals and talents along with a high achieving partner in Ms. Koroleva, Anita will continue to garner the global attention and recognition that she deserves. article, NBC Olympics photo credit

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Sources: photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.