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  • Sep


    We’re celebrating #WaterPoloWeek here at this week so we caught up with Kaleigh Gilchrist, a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Water Polo team in Rio as they became the first women’s team to win back-to-back golds in water polo. Blog: What a dominant performance in Rio by the U.S. women’s team, what do you think we’re the keys overall for the team leading to the gold medal?

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: Really it was all about our preparation. We started this journey with the end in mind and for us that was being on top of the podium. We competed day in and day out to make sure that dream became a reality. Our coaches did a great job pushing us to be the fittest and most prepared team in the Games. We were fortunate enough to have so many weapons and so many talented players that if a team was able to stop one attack we were able to use another. Blog: None of the scorelines ended up too close and there weren’t any nailbiters this time like the tie and OT game in London, but there must have been a game or two that stood out as the toughest…

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: Both games versus Hungary were tough, especially the semi final. Hungary is a great team with some of the best shooters in the world. Plus, they have heart. They were the only team to score the first goal of the game on us. From that moment on we knew it was going to be a battle. Plus the semi final in my opinion is the hardest and most nerve-racking game of a tournament. A win gives you the opportunity to play for gold and once you are in the gold medal match anything can happen. Blog: Was the team focused at all on the history of becoming the first women’s team to repeat as gold medalists or do you have to not think about past results?

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: We knew we could make history leading into the games by becoming back-to-back gold medalist, but once they began it wasn't on our minds. We broke the tournament down into two, bracket play and then quarterfinal on. This helped us focus game by game and not get ahead of ourselves. However, for me personally, I used the pressure as motivation because I wanted to get the four returners another medal and put their names in the record books. Blog: What have you guys done as a team since winning gold? Any fun events back in the U.S.?

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: Not too much as an entire team!! We've had a few sporting events and individual things, but I'm looking forward to being back with the full squad to meet the President in a couple of weeks! Blog: What’s next for the team training and competition-wise?

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: We have some time off. A lot of our girls are going back to college and will train with their collegiate team. The team will come back together in May with some new faces as well to start training for World Championships in Budapest 2017! Blog: Is there talk of going for the three-peat to match the Hungarian men’s dynasty from 2000-2008?

    Kaleigh Gilchrist: It's too soon to say. Obviously, the goal for 2020 will be to win. That's the culture this program creates. However, there's a lot of time before then.


    Enter to win a Turbo USA Water Polo Suit! Just tell us your favorite thing about Water Polo below to enter by 11:59pm PT,  September 25! One entry per person. Winner selected at random.

    Turbo USA is the Official Competitive Gear Sponsor of the Olympic Men’s and Olympic Gold Medal Women's Water Polo Teams. For more, click here:

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    4 years ago.
    My favorite thing about water polo is the family, the team and all other teams have a common connection and it is truly amazing.
    Kimberly Flickinger
    4 years ago.
    My mother and I are huge fans and we love to swim. We do warm water aerobics together.
    Stephanie Valdez
    4 years ago.
    My favorite thing about Water Polo are the refs. They don't see what lifeguards, coaches, teammates, and audience see. FOULS!
    Hanna Jordan
    4 years ago.
    My favorite thing about water polo is that I love how close it has brought me to my team. There is such a sense of community in my area with all of the people who love water polo as much as I do.
    4 years ago.
    OK love the sprinting swims and the rocket goal shots
    4 years ago.
    You get to swim and compete with your friends
    4 years ago.
    It has the individualism of swimming with the team aspect of most every other sport!
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