“The Saviour”Tony Azevedo (Anthony Lawrence Azevedo) was born November 21, 1981, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and regularly captains the American Waterpolo Team. recently nicknamed “The Saviour” he is one of the best American waterpolo players of recent memory. During his four years at Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California, his team won four California Interscholastic Federation championships and he was named MVP all four years. Azevedo led The University of Stanford’s men’s water polo team to two NCAA championships (in 2001 and 2002), and he represented the Untied States at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney and the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens. At the 2004 Olympics, Azevedo was second on the tournament’s goals scored list with 15. He set a school freshman scoring record (68 goals), a single-season school record as a sophomore (95, or 3.4 goals a game) and, scored a school record 332 career goals in four years at Stanford. For each of his four years in college, Azevedo was honored as the most outstanding male player of the year with the Peter J. Cutino Award – water polo’s version of theHeisman Trophy. While at Stanford, he was a member of the Alpha Pi chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. In 2004 after graduating from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations, Azevedo signed a professional water polo contract with Bissolati Cremona (Italy) placing him among the top 10 paid players in the sport. Playing with Team Bissolati for his third season in 2006, he scored 63 goals with a 2.62 average per game. Azevedo rejoined the rest of the US men’s national team at the 2007 Melbourne World Championships. Azevedo scored 5 goals of an 8-4 win by the US National Team over host country China in the opening games of the 2008Summer Olympic Games. In the championship game, the USA team won the silver medal, defeated by Hungary. The Azevedo family is a water polo dynasty. His father, Ricardo Azevedo, played on the Brazilian national water polo team and coached his son throughout his age group and high school career. Azevedo senior was Head Water Polo Coach both of US National Team and Long Beach State. Tony’s sister Cassie is a two-time All-American water polo player at Long Beach State. Cassie also plays professionally in Italy after adjusting to a congenital health condition that temporarily sidetracked her water polo career. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games (to be held in London) will witness the old “powerhouses” of waterpolo clash, with intimidating line-ups featuring World Champions of Rome 2009, Serbia, along with their finalists, Spain. Hungary have an amazing track record with the Olympic Games, having been in the last 5 finals. The mainland eastern countries such as Estonia, Croatia, Macedonia and Romania are also formidable teams. Italy, Greece and Germany pose threats too. America will have another tough and rugged road to the final, should they make it that far, and will more than likely meet their old opponents somewhere along the line.
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