A little about me...

My name is Mariya Koroleva and I'm a member of the U.S. Olympic Duet for the sport of synchronized swimming. I've been swimming for 17 years (yikes!) and I've been on the national team for 9. I graduated from Stanford University in 2013 and am almost finished getting my masters degree in sport management from the University of San Francisco. I love chocolate, cross stitching, scented candles and sunsets. Follow me on my journey to my second Olympics in Rio de Janeiro!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

Time to write about Mary and I's latest trip to...LAS VEGAS! And no, we did not go there to gamble and lounge at the pool, but to perform an exhibition at the U.S. Open Championships, a competition for both junior and senior swimmers. The days leading up to the trip were very tough physically. We were doing a lot of weight belt training and the long days were tiring. Coming to Vegas was a nice break from the hard training because we got to perform for a home crowd and get some good feedback for our routines. It was inspiring for me to see the younger girls who were so excited to watch us swim. They were piling on top of each other to get a glimpse of our routine and then lining up afterwards to get an autograph or a picture with us. I think this trip was just what we needed. It was a great send-off for the Games and I felt so much support and love from everyone I talked to and saw. It was also good for Mary and I to get another competition simulation under our belt. With this last performance, we are on our way to truly being prepared for London!

Mary and I after our free duet performance

Usually when we travel for competitions and exhibitions we don't get to see much outside of the hotel and the pool. This time, however, we made TWO whole outings! We got to go see "O" and Le Reve, two of the shows that feature synchronized swimming. Both of them were amazing!! I liked how they incorporated synchro and used the artistic parts of the sport to create an impressive and entertaining display. We even got to go backstage and see some of the performers, who sported some sexy costumes and over-the-top make-up, which I loved. I wish we got to walk around a little more and explore the hotels because driving through the strip there were so many lights and cool looking hotels! But we had to get back to Indy and get back to work. I can save the fun stuff for after London :)

 I sneaked a picture of the clowns during "O"!

Now we are back in Indy and it is T-minus 7 days until we leave for the Olympics! This week is going to be very tough. We are revving up our training and doing more endurance work so that we can taper off a little bit once we get to our training in Dublin. My back has been flaring up more lately so I am trying to keep the pain under control with physical therapy and medication (For those of your who don't know, I had back surgery in January to remove a small part of my spine). Having a chronic injury definitely makes it harder to push yourself during training and it forces me to listen to my body to know when I am pushing too hard and when to slow down. Holly at St. Vincent Sports Performance has been my angel and working with her during the week is what really helps me stay on track in managing my injury. Even though this is a big challenge, I am trying to stay positive and motivated as we head into this final stretch. I want to thank everyone for your continued support and I will be updating a lot more often once we get overseas to give you all sneak peaks into the village, the competition venues and the Games in general! Stay posted :)

Lots of L,

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