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Just got done reading about some of the experiences of Team USA's water polo crew. Made me really think twice about making fun of water polo as a sport.
Here's some quotes from US Captain Tony Azevado:
“If you haven’t gotten your balls grabbed as a water-polo player, you’re probably not playing at a high level.”
“That was probably one of the more painful things that happened, as a kid, getting the armpit hairs pulled out,” he recalled.
“You have a lot of experiences getting grabbed here and there, kicked here and there,” he said. “But what makes our sport so great, and so confusing to a lot of people, is that we’re not an easy sport to watch. You’re not going to say, ‘They just have to run as fast as they can or swim as fast as they can.’ Not only are we swimming, we are wrestling in the water, and there is technique in how you wrestle in the water. There’s tactics, there’s structure, there are plays that we are running, like a quarterback in football, on offense and defense. All the while we have to stay afloat for 90 minutes. That’s the reason it’s the toughest sport in the world, and we love it.”
So let me see if I got this straight -- it's soccer/handball, mixed with football, mixed with wrestling, mixed with.. endurance swimming, and finally, mixed with the brutality of ice hockey!? Damn. Much respect. I don't wanna play that. I didn't before, but for very different reasons. Looked kinda lame. Now it just sounds painful.