Rio 2016 venue: Maria Lenk Aquatics Center (Barra Zone)
Competition dates: Aug. 14-19
Medal events: 2 (duet, team)
Olympic introduction: 1984 (Los Angeles, California)

U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming duet partners Mariya Koroleva and Anita Alvarez are peaking at the right time heading into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, having made their mark internationally in 2016.

The duo started the year by winning bronze at the German Open in January, and followed that with more bronze medals at the French Open in February. In addition, the U.S. National Team members spent weeks training in Rome with the Italian National Team and other club swimmers in Genoa, Italy.

One month later, the athletes’ years of training paid off as they punched their ticket for the Olympic Games. Under the direction of U.S. Senior National Team Coach Lolli Montico, the duo finished seventh at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Rio with 167.6488 points. This will be Alvarez’ debut at the Olympics, while Koroleva will be making her second appearance at the Games. She finished 11th in duet with Mary Killman in 2012.

In April, Alvarez and Koroleva won their first gold medal together at the China Open in Wuhan. The duo scored a season-high 86.7667 points to win the duet free, and also posted a season-best 85.6171 points to claim silver in duet tech.

Koroleva, the U.S. National Team co-captain, and Alvarez, one of the youngest swimmers on the team, were selected as the U.S. Olympic duet in September 2015. Alison Williams, who won bronze with Koroleva at the 2015 Pan Am Games, was selected as the team alternate.

The U.S. will not compete in the team event in Rio.

Athletes To Watch
Anita Alvarez 
Alvarez, one of the youngest members on the U.S. national team, had a breakout year with her duet partner, Mariya Koroleva, as the duo won numerous medals in Germany, France and China. The New York native will be making her Olympic debut in Rio, having finished seventh in the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. In 2015, she helped the U.S. win team bronze at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, and she and Koroleva finished 11th in duet free and 12th in duet tech at the FINA World Championships. Alvarez has a unique tie to the Olympic Gamers: her grandfather was an off-ice official supervisor at the 1980 Miracle on Ice U.S. vs. Soviet Union hockey game.

Mariya Koroleva 
Koroleva made her Olympic debut in duet at the 2012 London Games, finishing 11th in duet with Mary Killman. She and Alvarez won their first gold medal together in 2016 at the China Open, in addition to bronze medals at the German Open and French Open. Koroleva, a native of Russia, she also serves as an athlete ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee's Team for Tomorrow. She is the Athlete Executive Council President on USA Synchro’s Board of Directors and a coach with her former club team, the Walnut Creek Aquanuts.


  • U.S. National Team members Mariya Koroleva and Anita Alvarez won their first medals together this year, earning gold and silver in China and bronze in Germany and France. Alvarez, a native of Buffalo, New York, will be making her Olympic debut with Koroleva, a Stanford University graduate, who will be making her second Olympic appearance.
  • USA Synchro made some organizational changes in 2015 with the announcement of a new executive director, head coach and relocation to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Myriam Glez, USA Synchro’s high performance director since 2013, was named the organization’s executive director and has continued her role as high performance director. Lolli Montico, former coach of Great Britain’s national team (2007-2014) and U.S. assistant coach in 2015, was named head coach of the U.S. Senior National Team. USA Synchro moved its headquarters from Indianapolis to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • Heading into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the U.S. owns nine Olympic medals in synchronized swimming, ranking second among all nations behind Japan (12) and ahead of Canada and Russia with eight apiece. The U.S. is seeking its first Olympic medal since 2004 when it claimed bronze in both the duet and team events – and its first gold medal since 1996, when Becky Dyroen-Lancer led the U.S. to the team title.