The social and sports crowd came together last weekend in Newport Beach for an Olympic water polo exhibition featuring the American team and squads from both Croatia and Hungary.
The three-day event, which ended Monday evening, attracted overflow crowds at the Newport Harbor High School swimming pool. Attendance reached numbers of more than 1,500 guests for the Saturday evening match between the USA and Croatia.
Team USA coaches, including head coach Terry Schroeder, assistant coach Robert Lynn, who also serves as the head coach for the Newport Harbor men's water polo program, and assistant coach Marco Palazzo were front and center for the weekend competition and exhibition.
Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner served as welcoming master of ceremonies for the festivities. We caught up with Gardner to ask her why the sports of water polo and swimming are so important to Newport-Mesa youth.
"It is understandable why we are drawn to the water, as we live in an area surrounded by spectacular beaches," said Gardner.