USAWP Women's Quest for 2012 Gold in Sports Illustrated

The KT Tape sponsored USA Water Polo Women and their coach, Adam Krikorian (pictured above), were recently featured in the Sports Illustrated Olympics column by Nick Zaccardi.  Read below to learn more about the USAWP Women’s quest for GOLD in 2012! The U.S. women's water polo team went silver, bronze, silver in the last three Olympics, but it's been nothing but golden in the run up to 2012. The world No. 1s won the FINA World League Super Final over Italy 9-7 on Sunday in China. In water polo, there are four major tournaments: the Olympics, the world championships, the World League Super Final and the World Cup. The Americans won the last two world championships (2007, 2009), the last three World League Super Final titles (2009, 2010, 2011) and the last World Cup (2010). No doubt they're favorites to claim another world championship next month in China, but their sparkling resume won't be complete without an Olympic gold. "For us to say that's not the goal is kind of avoiding the elephant in the room," coach Adam Krikorian said. USA Water Polo hopes Krikorian is the man to deliver the elusive Olympic crown. He guided UCLA to seven NCAA titles in a 10-year stretch before replacing Guy Baker as the U.S. coach in 2009. Baker had been in charge since women's water polo was added to the Olympic program in 2000 and left the post to take a job in the USA Water Polo Olympic development program. The transition was smooth. Krikorian had been an assistant under Baker at UCLA in the 1990s and brought a similar coaching style. But Krikorian wasn't averse to change. Captain Brenda Villa, a three-time Olympian, remembered one of his first addresses to the team in 2009. "Everyone here has to earn their spot," she recalled Krikorian saying. "It doesn't matter if you've been here before. No one has a foot in the door." At the time, 11 of the 13 members of the 2008 Olympic roster were active. The recent World League Super Final team however, included seven non-Olympians. No Americans were among the top 10 overall scorers, but 12 of 13 had at least two goals. Goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong earned all-tournament honors. "We have a lot of players that are very versatile and can play different roles," Villa said. "It's harder for teams to scout us." Villa also credited improved fitness and Krikorian's training regimen, which included a day with Navy SEAL on a California beach in February, climbing over walls, under barbed wire and through obstacle courses. "That was crazy," Villa said. "I don't think any of us would do that experience again, but we're glad we did it and survived." To read the entire article by Nick Zaccardi, visit the Sports Illustrated website. Photo by Alberto Lingria- US Presswire.