Mountain View Voice

News - August 17, 2012

A long road to gold, says water polo coach

by Nick Veronin

In his scramble to take in every bit of the gold medal ceremony at the London Olympics, Gary Krikorian missed witnessing a touching scene — all the players on the U.S. women's water polo team took off their medals and, one by one, hung them around his son's neck.

He said he and his wife would have liked to see the gesture made by the women on the team, but if they had, "we would have melted into tears."

Krikorian's son, Adam, is the team's coach. The Mountain View native, who now lives in Southern California, led the team to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal at the London games.

Reached by phone after returning from London, the coach called the moment "one of the greatest of my coaching career."

Adam Krikorian said that it had been a long 3 1/2 years since he began coaching the U.S. women's team.

"I don't think anyone — unless you're in it, and you're part of a team — I don't think anyone has any idea of the adversity that our team had to overcome to get to this point and to ultimately become Olympic champions."

But if you ask any of the Krikorians, the long haul to the "biggest stage in the world for athletics," as the coach put it, has been worth it. "It's an incredible feeling," Adam said.

"It was just a wonderful journey that ended in the most fantastic way it could have," the elder Krikorian told the Voice. "Adam's team responded to every challenge and brought home the gold."

"We're both so proud of the way he handled himself," the jet-lagged Krikorian said, speaking for himself and his wife, who still live in the same Mountain View house where their son was raised and first became interested in water polo.

The coach said he was going to take a few months to rest and explore his options, which are numerous after his recent accomplishment.

"Ultimately, I want to do something in which I know I can help and I can be the biggest benefit," he said.

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