Olympic Sport's National Governing Body is First Ever to Base Operations in Golden State
Huntington Beach, Calif. – April 23, 2008 – For the first time in the history of the Olympic movement, a US Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) will locate its national headquarters in California. USA Water Polo announced today that they were basing operations in Huntington Beach, CA, in closer proximity to their national team training operations in Los Alamitos and Thousand Oaks.
While the national teams have always trained in the Golden State, their previous headquarters was based in Colorado Springs, home of the United States Olympic Committee. Most other NGB’s are located in Colorado Springs, including USA Swimming and USA Basketball.
In addition to its national team operations, USA Water Polo also provides club and membership services for more than 32,000 players, coaches and officials, sanctioning hundreds of youth and Masters tournaments each year as well as national championships. Although nearly 75 percent of its membership lives in California, water polo is growing in other areas of the country as well, including Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and New England.
“There is a wealth of water polo knowledge and tradition in California,” said Christopher Ramsey, Chief Executive Officer of USA Water Polo. “We wanted to be more directly connected to the bulk of our membership, and we wanted to develop ways to enlist their knowledge and skills to help build our sport in other parts of the country.”
USA Water Polo was founded in 1980 after the National Team came into play in 1977 following the USA’s missed qualification for the 1976 Olympic Games. Since then the men’s team has medaled twice claiming Silver in 1984 and 1988. The women’s team came into existence in 1998 when it was announced women’s water polo would be an Olympic sport starting first at the 2000 games. Since that time the Women’s team has netted two Olympic medals, silver in 2000, and a bronze in 2004. The USA Women’s National Team is the current world champion and favorite in the upcoming Beijing Olympics, led by Coach Guy Baker, who was recently named US Olympic Coach of the year by the USOC.
USA Water Polo will formally name its Olympic teams for the 2008 games in June. Both men’ s and women’s teams have already secured Olympic berths. Prior to the Olympic Games, USA Water Polo will host the S&R Sport Junior Olympics in Irvine, California, in what has become the world’s largest water polo tournament.
STATEMENTS ON USA WATER POLO’S MOVE TO CALIFORNIA
“Although California has produced its share of Olympic athletes and held two Olympic Games in Los Angeles, we have never had a national governing body establish headquarters here. As a Californian and a water polo player, it gives me a special satisfaction to welcome USA Water Polo to Huntington Beach. Their presence will be good for the sport, good for our state and excellent for the Olympic Movement.”
Chairman, United States Olympic Committee
“It is a great pleasure to welcome USA Water Polo to southern California. This is a wonderful match for the future of Water Polo. The LA84 Foundation, the legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Games, has already taught more than 100,000 children the skills of Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo; our kids are ready to support and learn from the men and women who are at the pinnacle of their sport. The spirit of the Olympic movement lives in California and the largest collection of Olympians in the world lives here. Both Southern California and the sport of Water Polo will thrive with this partnership. We join in welcoming Water Polo to Southern California!”
Anita L. DeFrantz
President, LA84 Foundation
Senior IOC member in the US
“I am so glad that USA Water Polo are locating there headquarters here. They are a fine addition to the Southern California athletic landscape and the perfect place for water polo. As I look out on another perfect day in Southern California, I cannot imagine a better place to have the leadership of water polo gather where the players have always gathered.”
Chairman, Southern California Committee for Olympic Games
“The L.A.Sports Council is excited to welcome USA Water Polo to Southern California. The Los Angeles area has a diversified sports scene but until now we have never been the headquarters for a federation from an Olympic sport. We know our community will support their efforts to build medal-winning programs for Team USA and to create youth and community programs in our local area. In this part of the country, what could be more appropriate for us than water polo?”
President, LA Sports Council
photos Janos Schmidt