Anna Kozlova is one of the most accomplished synchronized swimmers in American history Kozlova came to the U.S. to train in 1993 and did not return to her native Russia. She has won a total of 17 national titles, including nine in the Olympic events (team and duet). She will return to the Olympics after an eight-year absence this year at Sydney. Anna ended up in Santa Clara, California when she and her duet partner went there from Russia to train for two months.
She said that her training in Russia was different because they did more exercises outside of the water than in the water. Practicing out the water allows less synchronization, according to Anna. Anna liked it here so much that in 1994 she stayed in the United States.
The last 5 or 6 years were very tough for Anna because she had to wait for her citizenship . She had to give up international competitions for six years. Since she got her citizenship, she got a sponsor and she still coaches part time. She also gets some money from the Olympic Team.
Anna said that whatever the team does, it all has to be synchronized. That is what makes synchronized swimming unique. Everything has to be perfect. If you are off by a second in movement you can get a real big deduction and then you can lose a place. That is all during only one movement in a whole routine.
Choreography is created by both the coach and the team members. They first look for music. Then they make up movements to fit the music. It sometimes takes a long time to figure out the right movements that look good in the water. "It has to be kind of like a dance in the water."
Anna’s goal is to win the duet and team
event at the Olympic games in 2000. After that she wants to continue to
compete throughout the world.