Olympic Preview: Anita Alvarez and Mariya Koroleva Representing USA Synchro

<> at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on March 3, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Image Courtesy: Getty Photo


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Team USA’s Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.) and Mariya Koroleva (Concord, Calif.) have punched their ticket for the Rio Olympic Games this summer, qualifying in duet.  The pair will be the only synchronized swimming representatives for the United States as USA failed to qualify for the team event.

The duo finished seventh in the duet free competition at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Rio de Janeiro back in March. They scored 85.2667 points. They had finished seventh in the duet tech on Wednesday with 82.3821 points for an overall total of 167.6488 points.

“We are now halfway through our Olympic journey, and I am quite happy with the way the athletes responded to the training plan,” said U.S. national team coach Lolli Montico. “I am definitely pleased with the performance and the results. The athletes are improving and the results an encouraging. We are ready to work even more to achieve the best results and get closer to the top.”

This will be the second Olympics for Koroleva, who finished 11th in duet with Mary Killmanat the 2012 Games. Alvarez, 19, will be making her Olympic debut.

“We swam with more confidence and better presentation and we improved our synchronization. We are happy with both our performances and with the results as we are much closer in scores to our competitors,” Koroleva, 25, said. “And obviously we are very excited to go to the Olympics this summer.”

Alvarez and Koroleva most recently won bronze medals at the German Open and French Open in the lead-up to the qualifier. Koroleva also won bronze in duet at the 2015 Pan American Games, and the duo finished 11th in duet free and 12th in duet tech at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

“We have been traveling to camps and competitions for the last two months and it will be nice to have some time at home with family,” Koroleva said. “However, we are eager to get back to work to continue to improve and hopefully place even better at the Olympics.”



Photo Courtesy: USA Synchronized Swimming


Awards/Honors: Presidential Gold Award, 4.0 GPA through all years of schooling, 2014 East Zone Athlete of the Year.

Goal: Help in bringing our country back to the podium and compete for USA in the Olympics.

Athletic Achievements:
2016: Olympic Qualification Tournament 7th (qualified for 2016 Olympic Games), German Open Duet 3rd, French Open Duet 3rd; China Open Duet Free 1st, Duet Tech 2nd

2015: FINA World Championships Team Tech 10th, Team Free 12th, Duet Free 11th, Duet Tech 12th; Pan Am Games Team 3rd, US Nationals Team 1st; French Open Duet 6th

2014: Jr World Championships Team and Duet member, US Open Team and Duet 1st Place, Brazil Open Duet 7th, French Open Duet 11th

2013: UANA Pan American Championships Team 1st; US Jr Nationals solo 12th fig 15th

2012: US Jr Nationals Solo 12th, Figures 15th; US Age group nationals solo 1st figures 1st duet 2nd

2011: US Jr Nationals Solo 21st figures 49th; US Age Group Nationals Solo 3rd Figures 4th Duet 1st Team 2nd

2010: US Age Group Nationals Solo 9th Figures 31st

2008: US Age Group Nationals Solo 7th Figures 9th Team 8th

2007: US Age Group Nationals Solo 12th Figures 19th Trio 4th


Photo Courtesy: USA Synchronized Swimming


Mariya Koroleva is an athlete on the Senior National Team and a coach for the Walnut Creek Aquanuts. She has been a National Team member since 2007 and competed in the 2012 Olympics in the duet event.  She graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a degree in communication and a minor in modern languages and was a four-time Collegiate All-American. Mariya is currently getting her masters degree at the University of San Francisco in sport management. Mariya was born in Yaroslavl, Russia, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 9.   She holds a dual citizenship and is still fluent in Russian. She loves traveling and exploring other cultures. “In my free time I enjoy cross stitching, baking and catching up on my favorite shows”.

Olympic Experience:

  • 2012 Olympic Games, 11th in women’s duets

Career Highlights:

  • 2016 French Open, bronze (duet)
  • 2016 German Open, bronze (duet)
  • 2016 China Open, gold (duet free), silver (duet tech)
  • 2015 Pan Am Games, 3rd (team), 3rd (duet)
  • 2015 China Open, silver (duet)
  • 2015 French Open, 6th (duet)
  • 2015 U.S. National Championships, gold (team)
  • 2014 U.S. National Championships, silver (duet)
  • 2011 Pan American Games, silver (duet, team)
  • 2011 FINA World Trophy, 6th (team)
  • 2011 Collegiate National Championships, 1st (team, duet)
  • 2011 Collegiate National Championships, 2nd (trio), 3rd (duet)

Fun Facts about Mariya
Your favorite song: It changes all the time! But I love “Stereo Love”
Your favorite food: Anything Mexican
Your favorite sport (beside synchro): Football and gymnastics
Your favorite athlete: Andrew Luck because of his incredible humility and work ethic, and Nastia Liukin for her grace and poise
Your inspiration: My mom and my teammates
Your perfect day off: Sleeping in, hanging out with friends, maybe shopping – anything relaxing!
Your favorite movie: “Zoolander” or “Stepbrothers”
Your favorite TV show: I have many. Namely “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Orange Is The New Black” and “Revenge”

What do people find most interesting about you (other than being a synchro swimmer)? I  have  dual  citizenship  with  the  Russian Federation, I love cross-stitching, I speak three languages and am looking to learn a fourth

If Mariya were … (She would be)
An animal?       A monkey
A time of the day? 5 p.m.
A season?        Spring
A dessert? Anything chocolate
A brand? Guess
A hot beverage?          Chai latte
A metal? Gold
A super hero? Elastagirl
A super power? Breathing underwater 😉
A color? Teal
A city? St. Petersburg
A vacation destination? Anywhere in Europe

Fun Facts: Mariya has dual citizenship (U.S. and Russia). She also loves chocolate and tuna melts

The above story is a United States Synchronized Swimming Press Release.

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