HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo), 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and Olympic Games MVP, has been named Best Female Water Polo Player of 2012 by the Federation Internationale De Natation (FINA). Steffens scored a record 21 goals at the 2012 Olympic Games en route to leading the U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team to their first ever Gold Medal. Currently a freshman at Stanford University, Steffens scored five goals in the Gold Medal match, an 8-5 victory over Spain.
"I always dreamed of being the best, at whatever I did. That's just how my dad raised me, 'always strive to be amongst the best' and 'always represent your last name, Steffens.' To know that that dream has actually come true, wow. Words can't even describe the feeling. I do have to pinch myself because to me, my teammates and the girls I play against internationally are the people who I have learned from and helped me become the player I am today. They are the ones who I consider to be the best in the world and getting to play with and against them is what has made me better," said Steffens.
Along with Olympic Gold, Steffens added a Gold Medal at the 2012 FINA World League Super Final. The youngest member of Team USA, she set Olympic records for most goals in a tournament, most goals in an Olympic debut, and tied the record for most goals in a single Olympic match (seven vs. Hungary). Steffens will compete for the Stanford University Cardinal this coming spring, winners of the NCAA Championship in 2011 and 2012.
"As much of the world may have been stunned with what they saw Maggie do at the Olympic Games, it certainly wasn't a surprise to those who saw her on a daily basis," said Adam Krikorian, U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team Head Coach. "But it is important to note that although she was brilliant at times, Maggie was also a product of having talented and supportive teammates around her daily. From the time she started with us in 2009, she has been an absolute joy to coach, and she still has much room to grow and improve. With that being said, her future success will depend on her health, her work ethic, her teammates, her respect for the game, and despite all the honors, she must continue to carry herself with the humility she began this journey with."
Next up for Steffens and Team USA will be the FINA World League Super Final this spring followed by the 2013 FINA World Championships, set for Barcelona, Spain this July.