Meet The Goalie Changing The Face Of USA Water Polo

1 minute read

The USA women’s water polo team is favored to win gold: the Americans are the reigning Olympic, World Cup, World League and Pan-American champions. In goal is Ashleigh Johnson, the rangy 21-year-old Princeton student who’s ability to read — and reach — opponent’s shots is setting a new standard. “She’s plays the position of goalie unlike anyone has ever played this position before,” says Johnson’s Team USA coach, Adam Krikorian. Johnson’s also making history: she’ll be the first black American women to compete in water polo at the Olympics. “I definitely feel the responsibility to be a role model for other black people and minorities because there are so little of us in this sport,” Johnson, who is originally from Miami, Fla., says. “Just being myself, being black draws more attention to me. But I didn’t feel like looking different mean I had to play differently, or had to prove anything to anybody. I felt like I could be myself and play as well as anybody else.”

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