RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Maddie Musselman #2 of United States passes during a Womens Preliminary match against China on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Corona del Mar High School

Golden Girl: Maddie Musselman’s road to Rio

It’s been quite a year for Maddie Musselman. Like most seniors, she applied to college and graduated high school. After graduation, Musselman embarked on a truly incredible trip. This past summer, Musselman had the amazing opportunity to attend and compete in the 2016 Olympics. At only 18 years old, she has already earned a gold medal in an Olympic sport.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Maddie Musselman #2 of United States passes during a Womens Preliminary match against China on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Maddie Musselman #2 of United States passes during a Womens Preliminary match against China on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 

The road to Rio wasn’t easy. Musselman has spent hours of practice and months of training to help her reach her Olympic goals, all leading up to a glorious experience.

“The atmosphere at the Olympics was exhilarating” Musselman said. “I was so glad and humbled to be a part of such unique, competitive, and loving team.”

Rio is a city of culture and diversity. However, she did suffer from a slight case of homesickness.

“I missed the American food,” she said. “Rio did have good food choices, but there’s nothing quite like an American burger and fries.”

Musselman may still be a teenager, but the bonds she created with her team members will last a lifetime. Going to the Olympics is a huge responsibility that comes with loads of expectations. She didn’t let the pressure rattle her.

“The great part about being a member of a team is that you have others to help you. Pressure will come, and there’s no doubt it will make you nervous, but it’s important to use it as a motivation factor to help you succeed. Through teamwork and playing the game I love, pressure has never been a huge distraction for me,” she said.

When she wasn’t playing and practicing with the women’s national team, Musselman attended Corona Del Mar High School (CdM) and played water polo with the Sea Queens. She credited CdM with teaching her the values of hard work, integrity, and passion.

“Through academics and sports I am so lucky to have experienced a community so full of spirit and love.

I believe that each coach, teacher, and staff member that I have encountered has left an impact and impression on me. All of them are true examples of dedication and hard work; CdM is truly lucky to be able to have such great mentors and teachers for their students,” she concluded.

Musselman has taken the talents she honed while a Seaking and applied them to compete at an international level. Through it all, her kind heart and distinguished character have remained intact.

In so doing, she has provided her community a shining example of Sea King Pride. The entire CdM community wishes her the best and cannot wait to see what her future holds.

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