Golden interview: Maggie Steffens (USA)

Maggie Steffens – USA National Team

  • Maggie Steffens is a water polo player of the USA National Team.

  • She was born on June 4th 1993, in San Ramon (California).

  • At the age of 19 she has become an Olympic Gold Medalist being the top scorer and MVP of the Games.

  • Nowadays, she plays in Diablo Waterpolo in California (USA).

  • Daughter of Carlos Steffens, ex water polo player from Puerto Rico.

  • We know you come from a family with many water polo players… why did you started playing it and how old were you?

    I started playing water polo when I was 8 and it was probably the last sport I had tried. I had always done soccer and swimming, and even basketball, but water polo was new for me. We always had water polo balls floating around the house, so when we found out a club was being started we wanted to try it. Little did we know it was soon to be our lives.

    Some months ago, you won the gold medal in London 2012 being the MVP and top scorer of the tournament. Were this Olympics the Perfect Games? Better that what anyone can dream?

    No game is your perfect game or else you would never keep playing, you would never get better. I would say that they were games to always be remembered. My mindset during the Olympics was the best I had ever had, I was just playing polo, just being me. I was having fun and not thinking about anything else, that’s what made it such a good experience for me and what helped me play at the level of which I did.

    Talking about the way to this gold medal, you won the Olympics qualification at the 2011 Pan American Games. What was in your mind during the Final against Canada when you were 3 goals down in the last quarter?

    MVP and top scorer in London 2012

    The Pan Am final was a scary game, I can’t deny it. But it was also very fun. We had had our biggest loss at World Championships just months before, and we were not going to let that happen again. We knew, whatever the circumstance, that we could fight together to overcome it. And that’s what we did. We never stopped believing we could do it, and after being down by 4 and coming back to tie it, we had the momentum going into overtime and eventually the shoot out. We were fighting for each other, which is why we won.

    The shootout to defeat Canada and win the Pan American Gold Medal was incredible. You scored the last penalty winning the ticket to London 2012 also, what can you say us about that penalty ant all the shootout?

    I was nervous for the shoot out, but I had envisioned it in my head a million times, so I felt prepared. If I didn’t make my shots, I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my dream of being an Olympian. I knew I had to do it for me and my teammates.

    Going back to London, in the semifinal we couldn’t believe what was happening when Adam Krikorian asked for the time out… how did you live it there? How did the team recovered from that?

    “we got together as a team and said, nothing will break us.”

    Honestly, we had no idea that it was his fault. What we did know was that Australia was given an opportunity to tie the game and they took advantage of it. But we didn’t let if phase us. We had a similar experience at Pan Ams, and we had been through it before. Adam didn’t need to say anything, we got together as a team and said, “nothing will break us.” The determination we had and the trust we had in each other was so special that it makes me smile just remembering that moment. It just showed how strong out team was.

    Maggie and Jessica Steffens – Both sisters play in the USA National Team

    What can you tell us about the group of players? How is it to play with your sister in the National Team?

    I loved our team! We had the perfect balance between veterans and youth, and we made it so fun. Not only that, but we were a family. For me, literally. It was an amazing experience to play with my sister. She is a great role model and an even better competitor. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate and team.
    Are you willing to play abroad? Have you received any offer?

    I can’t wait to play abroad, but I have some years of college to get through first.

    You’ve played against Argentina in Guadalajara 2011, winning 20-0. Was it the first time you played against our team? What can you say about Argentina’s water polo?

    I believe it was the first time I had played Argentina. It is awesome to play people you’ve never played before, because they always have an edge. Argentina definitely had spirit and in a few years, hopefully we will get to see them more often.

    Let us know how is the sport in USA. How many times per week do you train? Do you study also?

    “In my free time, I like to just enjoy life.”

    Before the Olympics, we were training 6 days a week. 4 days of 6 hour days and 2 days of 4 hour days. It was a lot of work, not just physically but mentally.

    To finish, tell us something about yourself. What do you like to do when you are not playing or training?

    In my free time, I like to just enjoy life. I like to be with friends and laugh and smile. I LOVE to eat, so working out helps me be able to eat whenever i want, which I love. If I can, it´s fun to go to the beach and maybe play some beach volleyball or simply just read a book.
    Thank you Maggie! Good luck in Barcelona 2013!!

    See translation in Spanish / Ver traducción al castellano


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