U.S. Olympic Water Polo News & Notes

by Eric Velazquez

So Long, “Pre-Olympics”
Well, they’re here. If there was the remotest chance of the U.S. women’s water polo team backing out of the Olympics, it flew out of the window today (today here, tomorrow there). Coach Baker’s Dozen wrapped up its pre-Olympic training, with the opening ceremonies being held later on this evening.

The workout, which was held in the Ryde Competition Pool, went well and was followed with a post-practice team meeting. And while the details of the meeting may have to remain between the players, there was no denying the emotion of the moment. A couple of moist eyes could be seen as the meeting broke and the girls headed to the bus. They’re here.

Heather Petrie summed it up: “I’m tired of waiting. I’m ready to play.”

Team USA takes to the water tomorrow night (Sept. 16) against reigning world champion Holland at 7:30.

Who’s in Goal

While coach Baker has made no secret of his plans to utilize both goalkeepers in the tournament, it has not yet been announced who will be in goal against the Netherlands for the tourney opener.

No matter the rotation, Baker is confident that he’ll have a tremendous keeper in goal for every game. We’ll just have to sit back and wait…

Momentum vs. Tradition

In looking at how the U.S. matches up with Holland, there’s a lot more that goes into it than comparing x’s and o’s. While both teams have proven themselves as talented programs, worthy of Olympic competition, Holland has taken home more world titles in the sport than any other nation. However, Baker’s Dozen has proven to have a flair for the dramatic, winning its fair share of big games in the last year. So how does one measure momentum versus tradition?

One looks at the scoreboard tomorrow night around 8:40 p.m.


World class athletes. Gifted students. Pillars of discipline. These are a few things that come to mind when one thinks of Olympic water polo players.

But while they may be the best of the best today, their pasts aren’t without irony. Team USA goalkeeper Bernie Orwig, for example, got a ‘U’, or unsatisfactory, on her first grade report card…in P.E.

The Skinny on Sydney

To full flush or to half flush…that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of hellacious flushing, or to take arms against the wasting of water, and by half-flushing, conserve it. Well, perhaps Hamlet never contemplated the flush so intensely, but in Australia, someone obviously has. Each toilet is equipped with two “flush
buttons.” One button, the one on the left, is for the half flush, or the “more mild” bathroom experience. The other button…the other godforsaken,
last-ditch approach to flushing…is the “full flush.” This flush is for the “more intense” bathroom experience that might require a more thorough flush.
The “full flush”, as its called, is a frighteningly efficient approach to plumbing. It’s so intense, that at times, there have been doors thrust closed from the ensuing whirlwind. Good for the Aussies to have contrived such a marvel of waste disposal. I just wouldn’t get caught sitting during a “full flush”…you might lose something.

In other news, the warmer temperatures of which I spoke last time are now beginning to give way…not to cold, but to rain. And with the Opening Ceremonies only hours away, the organizing committees are hoping that the gathering clouds behave. Perhaps a few simultaneous “full flushes” could suck the storm away? Might be dangerous. I would equate simultaneous full
flushes to the “crossing of the streams” in Ghostbusters. In any event…the games will go on.

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