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City Council Recognizes Two Olympians

Synchronized swimmer Mariya Koroleva and water polo player Melissa Seidemann visit council meeting; the latter passes around her gold medal.

The City Council passed around the gold medal Tuesday evening.

After the council approved a certificate of recognition for Walnut Creek Olympians Melissa Seidemann and Mariya Koroleva, water polo player Seidemann passed her gold medal around among council members.

"We just couldn't be prouder," said Walnut Creek Mayor Pro Tem Kish Rajan.

Both Olympians took a year's leave of absence from Stanford University to train for the Olympics. "I had a tough time making the decision to take the time off," said Seidemann.

"My favorite part of coming home was sharing my gold medal with my sister's water polo team," said Seidemann, a graduate of College Park High in Pleasant Hill.

Koroleva, who competed in the synchronized swimming duets, said, "This year was probably the hardest year mentally, physically and emotionally. It takes so much out of you … It was nice to be back in my home city seeing my friends and family."

Koroleva after the Olympics visited her old team, the Walnut Creek Aquanuts. There were little girls clamoring for her autograph. "Honestly, that never gets old," said Koroleva, a graduate of Las Lomas High.

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