Episode 84- US Olympic Synchronized Swimmer Anita Alvarez
It’s one of the most underrated Olympic sports in spite of the fact that countless little girls put on their bathing suits and create their own routines with their friends growing up trying to emulate the women in the pool. Yes, Heidi used to do this on a regular basis in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
It’s Synchronized Swimming and it is way more hardcore than the general population gives them credit for. This week we’re talking to Team USA’s own Anita Alvarez about the sport and what’s involved in creating the mesmerizing routines.
First, for those who still think Synchronized Swimming is just some cute dance routines in the water, we’d like to give you a little challenge. Why don’t you try to do just a fraction of the moves in a minimum of 7-foot-deep water while never ever touching the bottom and in complete sync with fellow teammates. We wager you will all be tipping your hat to these athletes’ prowess before you get to the first chorus of the song.
Anita took up the sport because it was literally in her blood. Her mother was a competitive synchronized swimmer and although she participated in tons of sports growing up, something kept drawing her back to the water. She’s since competed in the 2016 Olympics and numerous other championships and is preparing for her second Olympics in 2021.
She shared with us details of the grueling and intense training schedule as well as how they’re continuing to train during the pandemic when getting in the pool isn’t really an option. She talked about how the choreography comes to be and how their music is selected.
We even got her to dish a little bit on whether or not they get sick of the songs and if they have veto power on bad music choices.
Anita was great to talk to and gave us a fascinating peek into the sport as well as how its continuing to evolve over time. This includes a new name- Artistic Swimming.
She even shared some tips for protecting your hair from chlorine, always important for all of us as we head into the summer. We wondered if she ever goes to the pool for fun. Her answer may surprise you.
Anita also described in detail what it’s like that first time you arrive at the Olympics and we have to say, it sounds just as incredible, surreal and exhilarating as we had imagined.
Anita and her teammates are working hard preparing for the competitions that lie ahead and we can’t wait to cheer them on and see their routines. We encourage you to listen, we know you’ll be setting your DVR to catch their performances when the Olympics come around next year.
Can’t get enough of Olympic Sports? Anita is actually our second Olympian we’ve had on our show. After you listen to her episode, revisit our chat with our friend Korey Dropkin from USA Curling here.