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Local Olympic Spotlight: Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, NY) – Synchronized Swimming

Anita Alvarez (back) and partner Maria Koroleva (USA Today Sports)

Anita Alvarez (back) and partner Maria Koroleva (USA Today Sports)


Kenmore, NY native Anita Alvarez will try to reach the podium in the synchronized swimming event when she heads to the Rio Olympics.

Alvarez punched her ticket to Rio when her and her partner Mariya Koroleva finished seventh place in a qualify competition held in Rio de Janeiro in March. The two will be the only synchronized swimmers for the United States, as the nation was unable to qualify a group for the full team event. This will be Alavarez’ first Olympics and Koroleva’s second. In 2012, Koroleva with her doubles partner finished a disappointing eleventh.

In the FINA world championships last year, Alvarez and her partner finished tenth. In the Pan-Am games that same year, she finished first place in the team competition, and in the French Open, in doubles, they finished third.

Alavarez and Koroleva are unlikely to come home from Rio with a medal. Unfortunately for the duo, the Russians are likely still competing despite the doping ban, which would have definitely boosted their chances. After quite a few middle of the pack finishes, it’s unfair to expect the young duo to be able to come out and shock the world against all of the world’s best synchronized swimmers.

The United States isn’t traditionally strong in the sport, and that will only be reinforced when they don’t finish well in Rio. Finishing in the top-8 teams will be a big achievement for Alvarez. Either way, qualifying for the Olympics altogether is impressive, especially at only age 19.

Her mother Karen, who has taught synchronized swimming for 30 years, began teaching her how to swim when she was only five years old. She won the Presidential Gold award, an award for academic excellence. She currently lives in California with a host family in order to train with the national team.



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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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