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article imageChatting with Gabby Stone: Goalkeeper of the USA water polo team Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 13, 2020 in Sports
American athlete Gabby Stone is the goalkeeper in the USA women's water polo team. She chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about her athletic career.
"I have been good during the quarantine. I was in San Diego, but now I am back in training in the Long Beach area of California," she said.
Stone is drawn to the sport of water polo due to the teamwork and the competitive aspect of it. "I fell in love with the sport when I was really young from watching my sister play," she admitted. "I love playing with my teammates and I love being in the water, so it's the best of both worlds."
Each day, she is motivated by her goal-driven teammates. "My teammates motivate me, especially through the hard times. They really are the ones that keep me pushing," she said. "I love the pressure of being the goalkeeper. It's a pretty unique position to have the team rely on you. It is a lot of pressure but it's a lot of fun when you succeed."
She opened up about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021. "It was tough at first since we were at our peak performance in March. We are trying to stay positive through the whole thing and take one day at a time," she said.
On being a water polo player in the digital age, Stone said, "The digital age has really helped improve our sport because we can watch replays on film. During this quarantine time, we are able to do Zoom sessions to maintain those face-to-face connections with the team."
When asked about the best advice that she was ever given, she responded, "It came from Betsy Armstrong, who was the 2008 and 2012 goalkeeper of the USA women's water polo team and she told me that the most important thing was to focus on the next game, and that you can't change the past and be perfect, and always look ahead. Always make that next block."
American water polo player Gabby Stone
American water polo player Gabby Stone
Beeldboot, USA Water Polo
For young and aspiring water polo players, Stone encouraged them to "have fun." "The longer you play, the more it can feel like a job. When you are in those times, really remember the things that made you fall in love with the sport and having fun with your teammates," she said.
"When you enjoy something, that's when you improve and when you can become your best," she added.
On the title of the current chapter of her life, she said, "Keep Going."
If she weren't a water polo player, she listed "beach volleyball" as her alternate sport. "I love being out in the sun, I love playing with friends, and I think it's a really cool sport," she said. "Right now, I am thinking of either going to law school or business school in the future."
For her fans and supporters, Stone remarked, "Thank you so much. It's not only my teammates that keep me going during these times, it's all the fans and supporters. Feeling their love and support from so far away has kept me motivated."
Stone defined the word success as "achieving goals." "I was very goal-oriented. Now, as my water polo career has progressed, I am more process-oriented, so I am really enjoying the journey. Learning from past mistakes, having individual growth, and being proud of the person that you are," she said.
To learn more about USA Water Polo, check out its official website.
American water polo player Gabby Stone
American water polo player Gabby Stone
Beeldboot, USA Water Polo
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