American Indian Synchronized Swimmer Takes Spot at Olympics

Mary Killman and her partner Maria Koroleva are the two athletes who will bear the load of representing the U.S. in the synchronized swimming events at the Olympic Games in London this Summer.

By Jorge Rivas Jul 09, 2012

Synchronized swimming fans will have their eyes focused on Mary Killman and her partner Mariya Koroleva at the Olympics games in London this summer because they are the only two U.S. synchronized swimmers to qualify. Killman, 21, is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and she’s known to occasionally [place the letters CPN on her swimsuits]( to honor her heritage. Killman and Koroleva will be competing in the duets category and will be the only two U.S. representatives in the sport at the London Games. Team USA did not qualify for the team portion of synchronized swimming. "It’s not as easy as it looks," [Killman told Sports Illustrated earlier this year.]( "Synchro is a theatrical sport, like figure skating, where we have the pretty makeup and the big smiles. But under all that–under water–it’s chaos. We’re kicking each other like crazy and trying to hold each other up." Killman says she’s dreamed of the day she would compete at the Olympics since the age of 10. She started out swimming competitively but ended up switching to synchronized swimming a few years later. "I kind of was like I want to go to the Olympics. It’s just what I wanted to do and it’s just kind of been the path I’ve taken and the choices I’ve made, I’ve ended up in a different sport but still at the same goal." Killman told[ ]( The Olympic duet competition is scheduled for Aug. 5-7.