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Jessica Steffens is a water polo player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Jessica Steffens is one of the top defenders on the U.S. women's water polo team, and her efforts helped the Americans win the gold medal at the 2011 Pan-American Games — a victory that gave the squad a berth in the London Olympics. Despite her role as mainly a defender, Steffens has scored her share of goals — including four at the 2009 World Championships and five at the Beijing Olympics, where the team finished second after losing in the gold-medal match.

Steffens' younger sister Maggie is also on the U.S. national team. Maggie, who turns 19 in June, will attend Stanford starting in the fall after deferring a year to focus on making the Olympic team. Playing water polo was an easy choice for the sisters, as it seems everyone in their family plays or has played — their parents, other siblings, an uncle and countless cousins. At first, Jessica thought the sport "was way too complicated and crazy," she said in a 2011 ESPNW.com article. But once she jumped in the water she was a natural.

Steffens graduated from Stanford University in 2009. She scored 35 goals to help lead Cardinals to national runner-up finish and 27-3 record in 2007. At the end of the school year, she joined the winning U.S teams at the World League Super Final and the Pan American Games. Steffens scored 12 and 17 goals in her final two seasons, respectively, at Stanford.

Steffens' decision to attend Stanford bucked a trend in her family. Father Carlos, who was a collegiate All-American and NCAA champion in water polo, mother Peggy, brother Charlie and a half-dozen cousins (at current count) attended Stanford cross-bay rival, UC-Berkeley. "Yikes, talk about tension at family gatherings! We certainly have mini rivalries, but we are all very supportive of each other." Younger sisters, Maggie and Teresa, are still in high school.

Stanford and Cal partake every year in the 'Big Splash,' the water polo equivalent of football's 'Big Game.' Getting her father to adorn Cardinal red and white at her games was not easy for Steffens. "My biggest success in the Cal/Stanford rivalry was getting my dad to wear a Stanford shirt. First he wore a white shirt with a very small 'Stanford' at the bottom. Then, he began wearing a multicolored one that incorporated yellow blue and red. Finally he came out with a traditional Stanford Water Polo shirt. That was a great day!" Steffens is fairly sure that her dad's Cal teams had a winning record against Stanford, but she has turned the tables during her career.

Steffens experienced an embarrassing sporting moment at her first swim meet. "I was 5 at my first swim meet, which was actually a time trials. I was ready to swim and got the instructions 'when you hear the beep, just go.'" The problem was, Steffens jumped the gun and continued swimming the length of the pool before she realized her error. She swore that she would never get in the pool again.


How tall is Jessica Steffens? How old is Jessica Steffens? Where does Jessica Steffens live? Find out here.

Age: 29 years old
Birthday: April 7, 1987
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Hometown: Danville, CA
Current Residence: Seal Beach, CA

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