When asked by a journalist for her opinion on professional wrestling, Olympic synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva replied — with utter, non-ironic earnestness — that wrestling is a “silly choreographed spectacle.”
“Wrestling is all about flashy, crowd-pleasing moves, but I’d hardly call it a sport,” said Koroleva dismissively, her hair shellacked into a tight bun and clown-like makeup enhancing her unnaturally strained smile and whitened teeth.
“It’s really a bunch of muscly guys in spandex tights and girls in skimpy outfits,” she added, adjusting the shoulder strap of her fluorescent pink, sequin-bedazzled bathing suit.
Koroleva and her partner Mary Killman placed 11th in the Olympic duet synchronized swimming competition this week, performing intricate moves including the Ballet Leg Single, the Vertical Thrust and the Scull.
A few days before heading to London for the Olympics, Koroleva accidentally saw a snippet of WWE Raw on TV and snickered at “goofy” move names, like Single Leg Takedown, Vertical Suplex and Skull-Crushing Finale.