Throughout the history of the Olympics, there have been hundreds of talented water polo players in the U.S. and worldwide. In recent years alone, we’ve seen many talented athletes in the water. Though it’s a team sport, there are undoubtedly players who have stood out among the rest. Here are just a few of those players.
Tony Azevedo was a water polo player for the U.S. Olympic team. He was a 5-time Olympian between 2000 and 2016. One of the best players in recent history, Tony’s nickname was “The Savior.” He was team captain during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Water polo runs in his blood, as Tony’s father, Ricardo Azevedo, played on the Brazilian national water polo team. His sister also plays professionally in Italy.
Peter Hudnut was part of the team that earned USA a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was also a three-time All-American, helped lead Stanford to NCAA title in 2001 and 2002. Today, Peter is an MBA graduate, and he has officially retired from the sport. However, the image of his face lined with blue duct tape to cover cuts he was receiving during the 2008 games will forever stand as a reminder of his love and passion for the sport.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without paying tribute to some of the most talented women in U.S. water polo history.
Kami Craig was part of the U.S. water polo team that won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 and Rio in 2016. They also won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She played for the University of Southern California, and in 2011, she played her first professional season in Greece.
Maggie Steffens is considered one of the best water polo players in the world. She is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, helping the team achieve victories and awarded the title of MVP. In the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Steffens tied the record for the most goals scored in an Olympics, scoring 21 goals. Her family is no stranger to the game, as her older sister Jessica was also a member of the team, joining in 2012. It was discouraging when
Ashleigh Johnson is an impressive player who was coined by TIME as “The Goalie Changing the Face of USA Water Polo.” She started training with the national team while she was a member of the water polo team at Princeton. She was a vital part of the U.S. team’s gold medal win at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.