Dodd Brothers – Chase and Ryder – Hoping to Represent Team USA Water Polo at Paris Olympics

Dodd Brothers - Ryder and Chase

Dodd Brothers – Chase and Ryder – Hoping to be Part of Team USA Trip to Paris Olympics

Chase and Ryder Dodd—brothers and fellow UCLA Bruin water polo players—are chasing the biggest roster spot in U.S. men’s water polo: Representing America at the 2024 Paris Olympics. They have played together for much of their lives—Chase, 20 years old, skipped this season at UCLA, while Ryder (18) finished high school early to embark on his path to a Team USA roster spot—a plus as they follow a collective dream. 

“Being able to play with [my brother], to have another friend to be there with you who knows you well, just to be able to talk about life with… it’s been an amazing process of being away from home, being in different countries, experiencing new things,” said Chase, sighted Sunday with his brother at Corona del Mar High School. “It’s much more amazing doing it with a family member.”

If the Dodds make the cut, they may join another set of brothers representing America in Olympic polo. Dylan and Quinn Woodhead have played together for U.S. Head Coach Dejan Udovicic the past few years after standout careers at Stanford. The younger Quinn played two seasons on The Farm with his brother, with both winning an NCAA title in 2019.

Chase and Ryder are planning to be together next season in Westwood. Ryder is one of Head Coach Adam Wright’s prized recruits for the 2024 season while Chase will return for his junior year.

Chase Dodd

Courtesy: Luiza Moraes/USA Water Polo

First, though, are the Paris Games which open on July 26th. Rostering for the U.S. men will be announced earlier that month, with 15 athletes available for 13 spots. Olympic water polo rosters are 12 with an alternate. Chase has already been capped a number of times with the senior team. Ryder, recently lauded by five-time Olympian Tony Azevedo as one of the world’s top young players, competed for the U.S. in the Pan American Games last year and then the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

Last Sunday, the Dodd brothers spoke with Swimming World after cheering the Bruin women’s win over Hawai’i for top honors at the 2024 Barbara Kalbus Invitational.

Following is an interview with Chase and Ryder Dodd conducted at the 2024 Kalbus Invite. It has been edited for brevity.

Thoughts about possibly representing the USA in the Olympics?

Chase Dodd: It’s a dream; ever since I was ten starting water polo you always looked up to the Olympics. That’s the prime of any athletic competition. Being on that cusp, it hasn’t really set in yet. I still can’t believe I have the potential and the chance to make the Olympic team.

Ryder, you might play in an Olympics before you ever play against NCAA competition.

Ryder Dodd: It’s a dream come true if it were to happen. Like my brother said, it’s any athlete’s dream to play in the Olympics—to be at that pinnacle of the sport means the world to anyone… a dream come true to do it for your country.

… and with your brother!

CD: Our bond’s grown even stronger through this process. Being able to play with [my brother], to have another friend to be there with you who knows you so well. Just to be able to talk about life with… it’s been an amazing process of being away from home, being in different countries, experiencing new things. It’s much more amazing doing it with a family member. 

And the Olympics are in Paris; you’re not going back to the desert, you’re not going where no one knows anything about water polo. You’re going to one of the great cities in Europe where the sport is beloved.

CD: It’s really good for us. We’ve played in Europe so many times already and done many world championships—and all of our players are [competing] in Europe. It’s like going back home. We’re not going somewhere like Japan or Qatar. We’re playing in Europe… we’re going back home.

That helps us out a lot. It adds a priority around [the tournament]. Everyone wants to win in Europe especially; there’s gonna be so many water polo fans; [polo is] decently big in France so there’s gonna be a lot of fans there. It gives extra emphasis to what this Olympics means.

This is a very competitive process. What happens next to help ensure that the Dodd brothers make it to Paris?

Ryder Dodd

Courtesy: Luiza Moraes/USA Water Polo

RD: Me and my brother are heading to Italy for two months to train with a professional team in Brescia. We’ll spend the time training with Max Irving, one of our [Team USA] teammates—another UCLA Bruin. 

We don’t have any more trainings together before the team is announced [likely in May]. What we did at Worlds is impress [Head Coach Dejan Udovicic] what we’re capable of.

If you do make the squad, what are your expectations of Team USA’s performance?

CD: We always have a chance, we’re always in the position every game, we just need to find that way to win. We’re always one goal less than every team.

We need to find something. Every one of us has an idea about it; we just need to all come together.

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