Athlete snapshot: Long Beach's Tony Azevedo
Sport: Water polo
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro
Residence: Long Beach
College: Stanford, 2005
Olympic experience: 2000, 2004
Recent records: Scored 13 goals in Sydney, Australia, at age 18 and was fourth-highest scorer in the Olympic tournament. Led the U.S. with 15 goals in Athens Games. Named the top scorer of the 2007 World Championships for scoring 19 goals, even though the U.S. team didn't advance to the medal round.
Coach Terry Schroeder on Azevedo: "He learned how to be captain from [three-time Olympians] Wolf Wigo and Chris Humbert, who were great players. But I don't think their methods of being leaders, being captains, were sometimes the best. They were too critical on some of the other players out there. And I think Tony has really learned to be a better captain, and he's been very open to suggestions from me, what I learned when I was captain during the '80s.
"And he's hungry to win. He wants to do what it takes to win. And I think that's been a big part of our success too. You've got a guy who's been the high scorer for the U.S. team in the last two Olympics but the knock on him is that he's been there for himself, he hasn't been there for his teammates. I think his teammates now see that he's there for them and I think that's a big piece."
-- Helene Elliott
Photo credit: Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times