USF Athlete Returns to the Olympics
Synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva MA ’17 is heading to the Olympics. Again.
The Master in Sport Management student and her swimming partner Anita Alvarez qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil games, taking seventh place at a qualifying event in early March. It’s another shot at glory for Koroleva, who also competed in synchronized swimming for the U.S. team in 2012 in London.
“I’m really excited and grateful to have the opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage once again,” Koroleva says. “It’s a bit surreal since I never planned to do two Olympics and I didn't think that I could go through this journey twice.”
She’s taking a break from USF to train full-time six days a week, eight to 10 hours a day, but plans to return after the big show.
Turning the Olympics Into a Career
“Now that I am officially qualified for Rio, I am even more proud and excited than the first time around because I know how much work I’ve put in and the challenges I’ve overcome the last few years,” she says.
The sports star knows she won’t be a top athlete forever — her goal is to turn the Olympics into a career, possibly working for the United States Olympic Committee, International Olympic Committee, or with a marketing agency that works closely with athletes.
USF’s sport management program has propelled her in the right direction, she says.
“Using USF’s wide alumni network, I've already been able to meet and keep in contact with several individuals who have given me great career advice and have helped me learn more about the industry,” Koroleva says.