I remember about a year ago getting a letter from my cousin, Anita Alvarez, asking us to buy T-shirts to help her raise money to get to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the 2016 Olympics. I could hardly believe that someone I knew - let a lone one of my family members - was going to be in the Olympics.
Anita is a 19 year old, synchronized swimmer originally from New York. In October of 2013, Anita moved across country to compete for an Olympic bid. During her time there she trained on the USA synchronized swimming Junior National team and eventually moved up to the Senior National Team where Anita and her partner Mariya Koroleva were selected for the duet for the 2016 U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming team.
There is something extremely special about being related to an Olympian. I get excited seeing her in some of the magazines I have grown up reading. Each feature she is in there for a different reason. In magazines like Vogue and Elle, she talks about how to put on makeup that lasts in and out of the pool. There are also magazines like “Latina Style Magazine” that showcased her as a certified boss lady as one of the Latina athletes that are competing in Rio.
On top of all the awesome media coverage she is getting, Anita is living every athletes dream of making it to the Olympics. She gets to experience Olympic village, she gets all the USA swag, and she is also teammates with some of the most legendary people.
Fast forward a year later, I get to see my cousin do her thing and compete in the synchronized swimming portion of the Olympics. Its awesome to see someone I know do something that seems like such an unattainable goal for the majority of athletes. Anita and her partner are extremely talented and I’m so glad they get to show their hard work off to the world. Congrats on all your success so far Anita, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for you in Rio.
Please feel free to follow Anita on all of her social media accounts:
To watch more synchronized swimming, head to nbc.com.
August 14 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
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Duet Victory Ceremony
August 16 at 2:20 pm EDT