It’s been an amazing week for McKinney Olympian Mary Killman, who now looks forward to well-deserved rest and relaxation with family and friends after placing 11th in duet synchronized swimming at the 2012 London Games.
She tweeted Wednesday morning from the 2012 Olympic Games, “Thanks everyone SO much for all the support! Can't believe it's over! … Now a few days to relax at the games and really enjoy everything! … Hmmm, first breakfast after competition ... what to eat?!”
Killman and competition partner Mariya Koroleva finished in 11th place in Tuesday’s Duet Synchronized Swimming Free Routine Finals. They were one of the teams from an initial field of 24 that made it to the finals. It was the first time the Killman/Koroleva partnership had been to the Olympics.
As expected by many, Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina of Russia took the Gold medal, followed by pairs from Spain and China, with Silver and Bronze, respectively.
Killman told the Associated Press after Sunday’s Technical Round, "The Russians are amazing. Even those who compete against them are in awe, let alone spectators who watch synchronized swimming. We're always trying to strive for Russia."
After the competition was over, the U.S. pair’s coach, Mayoko Fujiki, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the young women's finish was “a very important first step.”
Killman and Koroleva have been paired together for only about one year -- just “moments” compared to some world-class duos. They wrote their new Free Routine for the Olympics only three months ago.
"It was a very big move for us,” Killman told the Star-Telegram. “We decided that to be able to come to the Olympic Games and do the best we possibly could, we wanted to write a program that completely fit us and was really inspiring to our swimming."
Killman and Koroleva were the only U.S. synchronized swimmers to qualify for the London Olympics. Killman is the youngest member of the team.
Their Free Routine was performed to a medley of John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare" and "Call of the Champions,” original music by Salvador Niebla and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." In Sunday’s Technical Routine, the pair swam to Aretha Franklin’s “Think.”
Interesting note: Killman and Koroleva designed their own Olympic torch-themed swimsuits and Killman’s mother, Bonnie Killman, made them.
On behalf of all North Texas residents, McKinney Magazine extends heartfelt congratulations to McKinney Olympian Mary Killman.
About the author: Rick Atkinson is a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot and commercial airline pilot who lives in McKinney with his wife of 23 years, Debbie. He is a freelance writer and cartoonist.