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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Gold Medalist Kiley Neushul Shares Olympic Experience With Students at Mountain View School

Neushul won gold with the Team USA women's water polo team in Rio

Mountain View students check out Kiley Neushul’s Olympics gold medal. Click to view larger
Mountain View students check out Kiley Neushul’s Olympics gold medal. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The students at Mountain View Elementary spent time with an Olympic gold medalist who happens to be an alumna of the school.

Kiley Neushul, who helped the Team USA women’s water polo team win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics, was the special guest of the school’s “Welcome Back/Character Counts” assembly on Monday.

Kiley showed her gold medal to the students, talked about reaching her goal and answered questions from the kids.

“When I was here at Mountain View, I really wanted to do well in spelling tests,” she said. “I had to practice every day a little bit, study every day for those spelling tests to get those words right. It’s kind of the same thing with water polo. If you want to be really good at treading water or really good at shooting, you should practice as much as you can to get to that point, so you really know what to do in the water.”

Kiley has had an amazing career in water polo. In high school at Dos Pueblos, she led the Chargers to four CIF-Southern Section championships and was named CIF Player of Year four times.

At Stanford, she won three NCAA titles with the Cardinal and twice was named winner of the Pete Cutino Award as the Player of the Year.

As a member of the U.S. National Team, she and her teammates have won every major tournament title around the world.

Her teammates on the national team include long-time friend and former Dos Pueblos teammate Sami Hill and Santa Barbara's Kami Craig. They stood on the medal stand together in Rio.

The Mountain View students were like journalists asking questions. “What does it feel like to be an Olympic gold medalist,” asked one student.

Kiley Neushul talks about winning the gold at the Rio Olympics with Mountain View students. Click to view larger
Kiley Neushul talks about winning the gold at the Rio Olympics with Mountain View students.  (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

“When we won the gold medal, I envisioned this when I was your age, since I was a little kid … being a gold medalist, being an Olympic champion,” she replied.

“It was sort of how I envisioned it. It felt amazing. I worked so hard for 15 years to become an Olympic gold medalists. Every day I would envision that.  So, after we won, I was on the medal stand with my medal and got to sing the national anthem in front of everyone and then I went up to the stands and I saw my family and my friends who helped me get to this point. I started crying; it was happy tears, obviously. It was very emotional. It was like climbing a mountain for years and years and I finally reached the top.”

Kiley said the hard work to win the medal was not just in the pool. She finished school at Stanford, stayed in touch with friends and family and remained dedicated to the sport and the team.

“It’s felt very special and it feels very special now to come back and tell people what my experience was like.”

Kiley’s visit was arranged by one of her former teachers, Holly Bosse.

“Certainly nobody exemplifies hard work, dedication, perseverance, and determination like Kiley ... or her sisters Jamie and Ryann, whom I also have taught,” Bosse said. “They are a phenomenal family with fantastic, supportive parents. I could go on about Peter and Cathy as parents. It is no wonder they raised an Olympian and three outstanding young women and daughters.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk sports on Twitter: @noozhawksports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Kiley Neushul poses with her former Mountain View Elementary teacher Holly Bosse. Click to view larger
Kiley Neushul poses with her former Mountain View Elementary teacher Holly Bosse. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

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