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!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tech duet competition

Tech duet day!

Today was the first day of competition and man was it a long day. I woke up at 5:45 am and we headed to the pool. We warmed up and then had practice with music, which we shared with Spain. There were only a few duets in the pool so it was nice to have our own space (I like my space during warmup, my teammates will tell you that!) Afterwards we knoxed and then came the actual competition warm up without music. I was slightly stressed out at the end of warm up because we couldn't get our walk-on right so we kept doing it over and over again. But by the end we had done it so many times that it was engrained in our heads (and we didn't mess up during the competition!)

We had a little bit of down time before the competition began so I spent the hour wearing my compression pants laying on the ground with my feet up and playing the Beatles on my iPhone. Very relaxing indeed! Finally, it was time to go. Mary and I got in the pool about 45 minutes before the competition started, went over the elements a few times and then headed to the last call room. We listened to our music and went over the main points we were trying to hit in the routine. 

By this time, I was getting nervous! I was thinking, oh man what if my legs aren't warmed up? What if I mess up the deckwork? But as soon as those thoughts came in my mind I pushed them away and kept saying, we can do this, we are ready! Staying positive calms me down and helps my body relax, which is very important for me before a swim. As soon as we walked out to the edge of the platform, my energy changed. I saw the hundreds of people in the stands, the American flags waving and the people cheering and suddenly I felt very calm. All eyes were on us. We were the first duet to compete and this is when it finally hit me. I am at the Olympic Games. And it was an undescribable feeling. I've never experienced anything like it, not at any other national, collegiate or international competition. As soon as we dove in, I knew it was going to be a good swim. I felt very calm and together and the swim was FUN! Usually I am preoccupied with thinking about my corrections or freaking out about how my legs are already tired but this time I could actually enjoy every second of the swim, even when my lungs were burning underwater. It was very cool.

Mayu told us it was our best swim yet, and even though there were some minor mistakes, Mary and I were both very happy with it. We did what we set out to do, which was to hit all of our elements, put on a great show for the audience and to set the bar high for the rest of the competition. We are in 10th place going into free duet tomorrow. We are only .2 away from 9th place and I think if we hit our routine we can blow the judges away. Today was a great start for us! I can't wait to swim tomorrow and to show off our free program. I loved getting the encouraging texts, messages and tweets :) it made my day to see how many people are thinking about and rooting for Mary and I so thank you again. 



  1. OMG Baby! You girls did AWESOME! You looked so beautiful and did a GREAT JOB! I watched it on the computer, but I will watch it again tonight on the local channel on bed! (I can’t wait to watch it again!) Thank you so much for writing today, I was surprise to see that you both wrote in your blogs. Good Luck tomorrow in the Free Routine I will be watching and cheering you from Costa Rica! I send you my love, lots of kisses and (((Hugs))) <3
    Diana K. (Di Keller)

  2. I thought it was a GREAT swim, I was so impressed with the huge strides you've made in just the few weeks since I saw you in Walnut Creek at the Night of Champions. And, I know this is easy to say especially when you are biased and you probably shouldn't focus on this at all and go with how you felt about your swim...BUT I thought you guys were totally jipped on your score. Even my husband expressed this before I could even give my own opinion. Anyway, you both are AMAZING, are representing the USA well, and I can't wait to see the full free routine tomorrow!!

  3. Watched you live on-line (hooked my laptop up to my big-screen TV), then I checked and saw that you were on what I had recorded from the DVR. Much better on the TV feed, because of the commentary (I know NOTHING about synchro). You ladies looked GREAT! I was blown away by the athleticism shown by you and the other competitors. I am proud of the way you represented the USA. Good luck tomorrow.

  4. Today, we were very excited to see your duet. You both did wonderfully and we loved your program. It was awesome! We anxiously await your next performance. Good luck! You're such a talented girl that went so far with your commitment and determination in this sport to accomplish your dream.

    Warm regards,
    Pavel, Anna, and Elena