US Performance Academy student, Nikki Dzurko, has been named to the Junior Worlds National Team for the sport of synchronized swimming. A two-phase process with women from all over the country competing, gaining a spot on the National Team to represent the USA is challenging.
Dzurko has been with the Santa Clara Aquamaids for the past 6 years. A total of 8 years of swimming synchro, Dzurko has had many notable accomplishments. In 2015, she broke records by winning five gold medals at National Championships, which has never been done before by an athlete of any age. A solo, duet, team, combination team, and figures swimmer, she has won gold in each category at the Senior Nationals in Moraga, CA. She brought home four more gold medals at the Junior Olympics in Greensboro. Traveling to many competitions nationally, Dzurko has also competed internationally in Canada, Italy, Greece, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Moving to the Junior level has presented even more opportunity for success. She won three gold medals and two silvers at her first Nationals as a Junior, competing against women two and three years older.
“I feel as though I’ve accomplished a lot in synchronized swimming at my age, representing USA since I was 11 years old at international meets, most recently junior worlds.” Said Nikki Dzurko. “I’m proud that I have fought through thick and thin to compete and be at the best of my ability. I’ve competed with mono, a concussion, the flu, and many other injuries at meets, but somehow I keep on going. I hope to do even more with the sport and this country in years to come. It has always been my dream to go to the 2020 Olympics. I have many people supporting me with this dream, but in the end it’s all up to me and what I’m willing to do to make it happen.”
This year, the Junior Worlds Team has been training at their home pool in Santa Clara. With a goal of getting the US back to the top internationally, the team has been training many hours. With her exhaustive training and extensive travel, Dzurko has chosen to keep up with her education by attending US Performance Academy (USPA). USPA is an independent, fully accredited, digital, middle and high school designed for the competitive young athlete.
“I’m beyond excited for Nikki’s opportunities.” Said Peter Smith, US Performance Academy President. “She works very hard both in and out of the pool, and it is wonderful to see that hard work paying off through the invitation to join the Worlds team. I have attended several synchro events this past year, and am continually amazed by the athleticism and focus the sport requires. It results in an incredible time commitment, and we are happy to offer a supportive, flexible learning environment that allows her be successful in school and in synchro.”
The youngest of three children, Dzurko lives with her family in Monte Sereno, CA. She has a dog named Chance and a miniature horse named Opi. She is swimming for junior team, solo, and figures at the Junior Worlds competition in Kazan, Russia this summer. Her goals are to continue training hard and hopes to one day representing the USA at the Olympics and other world and international Championships.