If you didn't already know, California has no lack of water polo clubs. The same might apply to most areas of Florida. Basically what this mean is kids are made aware of the sport the same way kids know about baseball or football. Venture north of Florida or east of California and the game becomes a mystery. Polo? Like on horses? How do they get the horses in the water?
Before 2006, the Atlanta was all but void of water polo. An adult team existed, riding on the coat tails of a local swim club, but in more than a decade had done little to nothing to increase involvement in the sport. The team was more like an elite club, open only to those who came from somewhere else, somewhere where the sport was known. Well, as a local boy, its obvious the opportunity to play wasn't even offered to me. I found my way into the water polo 'brotherhood' by a less typical path, so I felt more inclined to give kids like me the opportunity sooner in life.
I'll spare you the details, but over the next 3 years I built up a summer league program with teams for middle school aged kids and for high school age kids; Founded, managed, and played in the Georgia high school club league; and basically created the opportunity for Atlanta kids to get involved in the sport.
Whats this got to do with the Olympics? Numbers! I'm adding numbers to the recruiting pool. The more players given the opportunity to play water polo, the more talent you'll discover. You can help too, support causes like mine. Teach kids about the sport wherever you go. Give everyone the same opportunity to play as you had. And someday the good ole U S of A will rise to glory.
Edit: I'm going to leave the text the way it originally was written, but I want to make a note that the adult team I was referring to has been very active in supporting youth water polo, and recently it has become increasingly obvious what its great support is doing for the sport in Atlanta!