The Original. Est. 2008.
Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Coach Adam Krikorian
He would never 'fess up to it but after leading the USA women to their third consecutive gold medal (perhaps a fourth in Paris?) he can fairly be called "legendary." He's Adam Krikorian, one of the world's best at his craft if the collection of hardware tells us anything.
The medals are important but in today's conversation we talk less about that and more about his future with the Olympic team, the struggles prior to winning gold in Tokyo, and some speculation on the future of college water polo. All that while touting the the massive talents of his athletes and deflecting his own role in what can fairly be described as perhaps the best Olympic team in the world.
"Best Center in the World," Ben Hallock
We continue our series on the Tokyo Olympic Games with a conversation with Ben Hallock, described by at least two men - Dejan Udovicic and Alex Bowen - as the “best center in the world.” He and his USA teammates finished sixth in the tournament and he’s headed back to Champions League winners Pro Recco soon. He joined us via Zoom from Washington state and talked about the differences between Rio and Tokyo, getting pummeled while making it look like it's no big deal, and much more.
Alex Bowen talks Mixed Results for USA Men in Tokyo
A continued look back at the recently completed Tokyo Olympics. Alex Bowen finished the men's tournament as its fourth highest scorer. Team USA experienced some good results – a win over Italy perhaps the highlight – but also some less than desirable ones. Bowen helps dissect the tournament with deeper dives in to the Japan and Greece games as he and his teammates finished sixth. Plus, finally: an explanation of "the chop."
"Doesn't Feel Like it's Real." Haralabidis on Winning Gold
She warned us prior to the Games that her team was not "invincible," and she turned out to be very much correct. But Stephania Haralabids and her teammates were able to rally from the USA Senior Women's program's first defeat in a couple years to overcome some physical opponents, stiff mattresses, and Covid restrictions to win a third consecutive Gold Medal. She shares the experiences of the last 20 or so days, including the complexities associated with returning to "real" life after huge success and very hard work at the Games.
Tokyo Olympics Gold Medalist Alys Williams
Alys Williams was the final cut from the 2016 USA Women's National Water Polo Team, as NBC informed us just a few times during the Tokyo Olympics. Williams recovered from that setback quite nicely and now has a heavy, shiny 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medal to hang on her office wall.
In a very revealing conversation she detailed the stress and nerves associated with being affiliated with one of the all-time great water polo programs, how it affects sleep, how it likely contributed to the team's "slow" start, and how Melissa Seidemann was there to help her (and others) overcome it.
She also talks about what makes Adam Krikorian a now legendarily good coach, why Tony Azevedo is wrong about Ralph Lauren tie dye, and... retirement (or maybe better to call it, contentment).
Tokyo Olympian, Greek-American, Stephania Haralabidis
One of the most interesting stories about this monster roster that is the USA Women's Olympic Water Polo Team, which is expected to win gold beginning on July 24 in Tokyo, is Stephania Haralabidis. Born and raised in Greece but already a dual citizen she made the tough decision to try for a spot on the American team, the world's best for a decade or more. She flew to Tokyo on Tuesday but spoke with Total Waterpolo in between practices last Friday.