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Four returning Olympians on 2016 U.S. women’s water polo roster

2016 U.S. women's Olympic water polo roster
USA Water Polo/ Jonathan Moore

Four returning Olympians on 2016 U.S. women’s water polo roster

The U.S. women’s water polo roster for the 2016 Rio Games includes four 2012 Olympic gold medalists.

Kami Craig, Melissa Seidemann, Courtney Mathewson and team captain Maggie Steffens were named to the 2016 Olympic roster for the U.S. water polo team, hoping to defend their 2012 gold in Rio.

They are the four returning Olympians, joined by nine other players with similarly impressive resumes. The U.S. women’s team is the first to hold Olympic, world championship, World Cup and World League titles simultaneously since water polo was added to the Olympic program in 2000.

Steffens was the 2012 London Olympic tournament's MVP and was twice named the FINA Water Polo Player of the Year since then.

Craig is the most decorated of the group with two Olympic medals (2008 silver and 2012 gold).

The roster also includes goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson, the first black woman ever to play water polo for the U.S. team and the only player on the roster not from California (Johnson grew up Miami, Florida and attends Princeton University in New Jersey).

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Kaleigh Gilchrist – who “moonlights as a professional surfer,” joked head coach Adam Krikorian, who made the roster announcement – was also named to the team.

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"I am exactly where I want to be right now. But August 20th I am going to be a surfer, hopefully."

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Sisters Aria and Makenzie Fischer, whose father Erich won a silver medal in water polo at the 1992 Barcelona Games, were named to the team as well. Aria Fischer’s birthday is March 2, 1999, making her the youngest U.S. Olympic water polo player since 1964 and the youngest-ever U.S. Olympic women’s water polo player, according to sports-reference.com.

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One by one, the U.S. women's water polo team belly-flops into the water in a tradition known as "Flop Friday."

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2016 U.S. Olympic women's water polo roster:

Sami Hill
Maddie Musselman
Melissa Seidemann, 2012 Olympic gold medalist
Rachel Fattal
KK Clark
Courtney Mathewson, 2012 Olympic gold medalist
Kiley Neushul
Aria Fischer
Kaleigh Gilchrist
Makenzie Fischer
Kami Craig, 2012 Olympic gold medalist
Ashleigh Johnson
Maggie Steffens, team captain, 2012 Olympic gold medalist
 

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