#10 ⇢ Olympian Spotlight: Andrea Fuentes (ESP)

Andrea Fuentes is a 4-time Olympic medalist, 16-time World Championship medalist and 16-time European Championship medalist from Spain. She is now the head coach of the U.S. Senior National Team. Andrea and I competed against each other at the London 2012 Olympic Games (but let’s be honest, she is in a whole different category of greatness). Her story is so inspiring and shows that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish things that you never thought possible.

Read More

#9 ⇢ On Finding Yourself After Sport

When you do a sport for 10+ years, it becomes a part of your identity. For 17 years of my life, I was a synchronized swimmer. And suddenly, the day after we finished competing in Rio in 2016, I wasn’t.

A lot of people struggle to find themselves after they retire from competitive sports, and I am no exception. I knew that Rio would be my last Olympics and that I would retire afterwards, but I still had a hard time redefining my identity now that I wasn’t an elite athlete anymore. When used to sit next to someone on the plane and they would ask “What do you do?” I would say that I am a synchronized swimmer training full time. As of September 2016, I had no idea what to say!

Read More

#7 ⇢ Olympian Spotlight: Karine Thomas (CAN)

#7 ⇢ Olympian Spotlight: Karine Thomas (CAN)

Karine Thomas (CAN) tells us about the challenges she faced in her synchro career, her two Olympic experiences, and what she has been doing after retirement.

Karine and I competed against each other at several competitions, including the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Karine started doing synchro in Canada at the age of 10 and by the time she was 13 years old she had already moved away from home to better her synchro career. At 16 she was a part of the Canadian Junior National Team and immediately after competing at her first international competition (2006 Junior World Championships) she was recruited to be on the senior roster and competed on the elite level until her retirement in 2017.

Read More

#4 ⇢ Competing for the Red, White and Blue with a Dual Citizenship

#4 ⇢ Competing for the Red, White and Blue with a Dual Citizenship

Being a citizen of two countries is not all that uncommon nowadays, but competing in the Olympics with a dual citizenship is still an anomaly. For me, answering the question “where are you from?” was always puzzling because I consider two places my home - the city I was born and raised in (Yaroslavl, Russia) and the city I live in (Walnut Creek, CA). Although I’ve lived in the States for many years, I still have a strong allegiance to my home country of Russia, so my experience competing for the Red, White and Blue was definitely a unique one.

Read More