As the first African American woman to earn a place on the U.S Olympic Swim Team, Maritza Correia knows a lot about staying fit, accomplishing your goals, and of course, how to stay gorgeous in harsh, wet elements. Here are her secrets— and why she's signed on with the USA Swimming Foundation's "Make a Splash" initiative.
FITNESS: How did you get involved with the “Make a Splash” program?
Maritza Correia: I actually just signed on with “Make a Splash” in March. As a competitor and the first African American woman on the U.S Olympics Swim Team, I want to get kids, especially minorities, involved in swimming and teach them the importance of water safety.
FITNESS: You’re constantly in the water. How do you keep your hair from drying out and protected?
MC: I really take care of it. I only wash it two to three times a week because shampoo can really dry out your hair. I condition it often, using the Pantene Pro-V line.
FITNESS: What’s your haircare, makeup and skincare routine like on a typical day?
MC: After practice, as I mentioned, I condition my hair. I use a lot of lotion for my body: I love Jergens Shea Butter. I don’t use the same lotion on my face because it's more sensitive, so I stick with Aveeno for that. I have to admit, I’m a total girly-girl and I love makeup. I always wear MAC products. After practice my hair tends to be a bit frizzy, so I apply my favorite gel, L.A. Looks.
FITNESS:What does your training consist of?
MC: I am currently not training full time, but I do like to engage in a lot of clinics. I’m actually hosting one at the YMCA in Mount Vernon, New York on May 26th from 10AM to 4PM, "Make a Splash: Mount Vernon", to kick off Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be speaking to elementary school kids on the benefits of swimming to stay fit, water safety education and about the learn-to-swim programs.
FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
MC: Being such a girly-girl I have a routine of getting a manicure and pedicure every two weeks. I’ll leave the kid with my husband and take that time for myself. It’s actually really relaxing and I love that I can be creative and change the color of my nails every two weeks.
FITNESS: What are the beauty products you can’t live without?
MC: I’m addicted to lip gloss and Lip Smackers. You can probably find purple, pink and beige tubes all over the house!
FITNESS: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
MC: Making the Olympic team in 2004. The first time I had ever seen the games was in 1996, when they were in Atlanta. Then I became an Olympian in 2004.
FITNESS: How can readers get involved with “Make a Splash” and its lifesaving programs?
MC: They can log onto Swimtoday.org to get information on free or discounted swim lessons. Also, If you’re more competitive, you can find a team to join, or you can just a find a pool near you to have fun, stay healthy and be fit.
—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern