Screenshot taken from Aquatic Games.
The first five-time U.S. Olympic water polo player, Long Beach local Tony Azevedo, scored his final goal for Team USA in June during a game at Stanford University. And although the Wilson Classical High School alumnus is now retired, no plans to leave the water polo community have been made.
Instead, Azevedo has arranged for several youth events and programs to take place in the near future, aimed at growing the sport in the states and worldwide. One of these is the Aquatic Games, a youth tournament to take place August 2-6 in Long Beach at Cabrillo High School, organized in partnership with CTC Conferences & Events.
The high-level international water polo tournament will feature Opening Ceremonies, interactive workshops, a Vendors Village, on-deck entertainment and an awards finale. Internationally, polo teams from Italy, Brazil and Australia will be in attendance at the games, while teams from various US locations such as Texas and Utah have also been slated to participate.
“My Italian youth team ProRecco is so excited for the Games,” coach Giacomo Pastorino said in a statement. “Of course we have played tournaments before, but at the Games my kids will learn so many new things outside the water.”
Dozens of Olympians will interact with participants during the Games, giving speeches as well as one-on-one feedback, including water polo legends Merrill Moses and Maggie Steffens, and swimming greats Jason Lezak and Jessica Hardy.
“This is an awesome event,” Moses said in a statement. “I want to share my story and help participants grow mentally. I want to watch them play with kids from different cultures and all walks of life.”
Participants will also benefit from a variety of workshops, to be held as part of a larger festival to run outside of the main pool. Azevedo’s own mentors and trainers will discuss topics including nutrition, strength training, injury prevention and academic preparation. Members of Olympic non-profit LA84 will also bring and discuss the official torch and mascot from the 1984 Olympic Games.
Live music performers will include “Jelly of the Month Club,” made up of several members who played for legendary Long Beach band SUBLIME. Young water polo players will also perform as “The Elements Band.”
The Games Opening Ceremonies will take place at the Long Beach Cove, a new event venue with Aquatic-themed decor to be located outside of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. The ceremony will feature inspirational video footage and live talks by Azevedo and other Olympians. Participating teams will take the stage one by one to be introduced, according to the announcement.
Learn more via the website here.
Cabrillo High School is located at 2001 Santa Fe Avenue.