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

At the 2011 Pan American Games, Maggie Steffens scored six goals to help the U.S. win gold. She secured the U.S. Olympic qualification when she scored the winning goal in the 20th round of an epic shootout to defeat Canada 27-2. At the 2011 World Championships, Steffens scored five goals on 11 shots for 45 percent shooting accuracy. She added four goals at the 2010 World Cup and five at the 2010 World League Super Final, including the winning goal against Australia in a penalty shootout in the final.

At the 2010 World League Super Final, the U.S. went into a penalty shootout with Australia in the final match and coach Adam Krikorian selected Steffens, who was 17 years old at the time, to shoot last, entrusting the teenager with the potentially deciding shot. Both teams traded goals and the score was tied 4-4 when it was the teenager's turn to shoot at the end of the fifth round, giving her the chance to win the game. The high school junior swam up to shoot and calmly skipped the shot into the lower left corner to give the U.S. the win. Steffens told sportsstarsonline.com after, "I honestly was kind of scared. I just told myself 'I can do this.' I thought of my family and what my dad would tell me. He always said (in shootouts) to not touch the ball and stay loose. Be slow and collected. Once I got in front of the goal I stopped thinking and just waited for the whistle." Krikorian said afterwards, "[Maggie] has no fear. I felt very confident with her out there and putting her last. She'll remember this for a very long time."

With over 45 cousins, Steffens and her older sister Jessica — who is also on the national team — have a hard time keeping track of all of their family members, let alone their impressive athletic accomplishments. Most of the family's accomplishments, however, have come in water polo. Their father Carlos played water polo at Cal, winning a NCAA title 1977, and represented Puerto Rico at several major international tournaments. Their uncle Peter Schnugg was a two-time All-American at Cal and was going to the Olympics until the U.S. decided to boycott the 1980 Moscow Games. Their brother Charlie, 23, graduated from Cal last year as a team captain and now plays professionally in Australia. Their cousin Stephanie Schugg played at Cal and now trains with the U.S. team occasionally. Their mother Peggy, Peter Schnugg's sister, and their sister, Teresa, have also played the sport. Growing up, the sisters say the family would form a Steffens/Schnugg team at their local pool and challenge teams to a game. The sisters claim there are plenty more water polo players to come from the family pipeline. Outside of the pool, their cousin Nate Schnugg won the junior doubles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open in 2006.

In 2009, the winter of her junior year at Monte Vista High School, Maggie Steffens was first invited to train with the senior team and began training full-time in the summer of 2010. While she returned to high school that fall, coach Adam Krikorian asked the teenager to leave high school early in order to move down to southern California to fully commit herself to the senior national team. To Krikorian there was never any doubt about Maggie's potential, as he told teamusa.org: "I have seen Maggie play since she was 12. I knew she was special at 12. It was no surprise. I knew from before, from watching her, before ever coaching her, that she was incredibly talented, she was coachable and she was tough as nails. That was why I wanted her from the get-go." Steffens was a bit nervous about leaving high school a year early and deferring on college, but called the decision to commit "the easiest decision of my life." She missed high school graduation because the team was in China for the 2011 World Championships, but her teammates threw a special celebration, creating a fake diploma, ordering pizza and giving her a pseudo graduation cap. Maggie deferred attending Stanford for a year and will play for the Cardinal after the Olympics.

When Maggie joined the team in 2010, Jessica was not part of the team at the time, as she was recovering from a shoulder surgery. The sisters say it was beneficial for both of them because Maggie entered the team and fostered relationships on her own terms. Maggie says, "It gave me the chance to not be 'Jess' little sister' and be just me on the team." Despite Jessica being away from the team, Maggie relied on Jessica for help: "I know when I was having trouble that first summer, if I had a bad game, I would call Jess and she has done so many things before that it was so easy for her to know exactly what I was talking about. It was great to be able to call her and have her help me out and keep my stress low."

Both credit much of their success to their club coach for many years, Sydney Olympian and water polo legend Maureen O'Toole, who now goes by Maureen O'Toole-Purcell. She is considered one of the greatest female water polo players of all time. After a storied career, the 39-year-old came out of retirement to play in the Sydney Games, where she helped the U.S. team earn silver. O'Toole-Purcell coaches at Diablo Water Polo club, where Maggie and Jessica played growing up. O'Toole-Purcell told sportsstarsonline.com: "I used to tell people when she was 8 or 9 years old that Maggie was going to be the best player in the world. She's just that talented. She's just that gifted. And she's right on pace to back that up."

The whole Steffens family attended the Beijing Games and Maggie was in the stands when her sister and the rest of the U.S. team lost to the Netherlands in the final. Carlos remembers sitting with Maggie, who was 15 at the time: "I looked at her and she at me and I said, 'Now it's your turn to get the gold.' She was all business. She nodded her head. And now here we are, four years later."


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

Age: 23 years old
Birthday: June 4, 1993
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 154 lbs.
Birthplace: San Ramon, CA
Hometown: Danville, CA
Current Residence: Seal Beach, CA

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