Cheers water polo and pistachio fans alike! I’m thrilled to send you my final entry in the midst of all of this post-Olympic, GOLD MEDAL mania!! As you all can imagine, this summer was a whirlwind, and both I and all of my teammates are still soaking in every minute. Naturally the excitement is still everywhere—it’s been so much fun arriving home from London and connecting with all of our supporters that didn’t make the trip across the pond. Hearing about the coverage that water polo had and how much spirit of the Olympics consumed everyone was just incredible, and leaves me searching for friends and family that still have it all recorded on their televisions.
London was absolutely insane, and probably my most favorite tournament to date. Not necessarily for the obvious reasons of coming home with a gold medal (although that made it pretty exceptional), but when you play a tournament that doesn’t get off to the best start and then are able to finish playing some of the best water polo of your life, that is pretty cool. Over and over again people will ask me, “What was it like to win a gold medal?” and the only way I can respond is this: our program has been incredibly successful over the years, and generally, at every major tournaments medal ceremonies are conducted in the same manner. However, at the Olympics all of our entire team’s friends and families were in the stands—and hundreds of other USA fans. When we sang our national anthem we weren’t singing it with just ourselves, we were singing it with dozens of flags to our left and to our right. That is a feeling that I have never had at any other tournament, upon any other win. To think about it now, and I am sure for years to come, it brings goosebumps to my skin and tears to my eyes.
The last thing I want to say about the Olympics, and our experience there as a water polo team, is to all of the readers and all of the supporters: thank you. What might be obvious during an Olympic year is present but sometimes well hidden in the other years, the support we get from you. Everyone who followed water polo, every friend or family member of a player—not just on our USA team but on any team is part of the reason we can do what we do. This victory belongs not only to us but to all of you, it is something that is hard to articulate, and perhaps not said often enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you!