Meeting Olympians can be an intimidating thought. To even be given the opportunity to meet them is enough of a challenge. Ironically, Olympians Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva are just like us. They like to have fun, make jokes and even interact with others. To have two Olympians be as friendly as they were with me only a few months before the biggest event of their lives was incredible.
We started the day at the Natatorium in Indianapolis. With a few others from the BSU at the Games crew, we shot video and conducted interviews. We got there around 9 a.m., and Killman and Koroleva were already in the pool practicing. It wasn’t until 12:30 p.m. that we saw them get out of the pool after some rigorous training.
We interviewed Koroleva shortly after the practice, which consisted of her talking about her Russian background, injury, life at Stanford and love for swimming. The best part of the interview was hearing her speak Russian. She even endorsed our site by encouraging potential viewers to check it out.
From there, we traveled to the St. Vincent Sports Performance facility. It was here that Killman and Koroleva had a spinning (cycling) workout. As we shot more video, the two athletes really started to loosen up—laughing while we recorded them and even making faces at the camera. Eventually, they finished their workout and began stretching.
The Olympians, along with their trainer, were using foam cylinders to stretch, and I became curious as to what it felt like. The trainer told me to grab one of the cylinders and then helped me with the stretching technique. It was a fun experience interacting with Killman, Koroleva and their trainer.
After all of the fun, we headed back to the pool to interview Killman. The interview was very similar to Koroleva’s. We were able to get a lot of good information about her and her history with the sport of synchronized swimming.
Finally, the crew packed up and headed home. After all was said and done, I think it’s safe to say we built lasting relationships with these two athletes.
Slowly, but surely, everything is falling into place for London.
Michael Nauman | Sports Reporter