Feb. 22, 2011
GS: What got you interested in synchronized swimming? When did you start synchro?
OM: I started synchro when I was 9 years old with a club team called the Walnut Creek Aquanuts. I remember taking interest in the sport after visiting a practice at my local pool and seeing the amazing athleticism and talent that the girls had. The sport really stuck with me though after I performed as a trainee in their summer Swim Show. From that point on I joined the club for the season and the rest was history.
GS: Why did you choose to attend Stanford?
OM: I chose to come to Stanford for two reasons: the outstanding academics and the equally impressive athletic program. After being recruited by various schools, there's really no other place that comes close to everything that Stanford has to offer. The school alone offers so many opportunities. Coupled with the very strong synchro program and close knit team of girls, Stanford was without a doubt the best place for me.
GS: What has been your favorite thing about Stanford?
OM: My favorite thing about Stanford would have to be the people that I have met. From classmates, professors, coaches, and teammates, each relationship I have made is something that I cherish. I have found that the people here all have something unique that you can learn from and take with you.
GS: What has been your favorite experience with the U.S. National Team?
OM: My favorite national team experience would be either the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, or the FINA World Cup that I just competed in in Shanghai, China. The FINA World Championships in Rome was incredibly memorable because it was the first time I represented the United States as a member of our first national team. I competed against many of the international swimmers that I looked up to and admired as a younger swimmer, which was a very surreal and exciting feeing. The FINA World Cup was also very memorable for me because of the great performance our team had and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment I felt in achieving it.
GS: What do you like best about synchronized swimming?
OM: My favorite part about synchro is definitely the competition. I love the feeling of performing in front of people and the adrenaline rush you get from nailing a routine.
GS: What is one common misconception about synchronized swimming?
OM: I would say the most common misconception about synchro is that synchro is the same as it was in the 1940's and 50's. Synchro may have started out as a showy sport with Esther Williams, but it has definitely evolved into a sport with a high level of competition and technical ability. It is completely different. A lot of people don't give it the respect that it deserves because they don't know about it.
GS: What's something that most people don't know about you?
OM: A random fact about me is that I love music. I have played the saxophone for 11 years and also play the guitar. Music has always been something that I enjoy doing in my off time.