Every day during the Olympics, SIOC will feature an Olympian who's also a college student. Today, USC junior and USA water polo player J.W. Krumpholz chats about being an athlete at USC, Kate Walsh and getting free Cold Stone ice cream during Olympics training.
This interview was conducted before Olympic competition began. Team USA beat Italy on Tuesday, 12-11.
Name: J.W. Krumpholz
Major: Undecided, but leaning towards communications
Olympic Event: Water Polo
Hometown: Tustin, Calif.
What's the best part about being in the Olympics?
Just representing my country. It's going to be an interesting experience in China. Just being able to play with the best competition in the world for these four years has been a great opportunity and it's going to show in the Olympics.
How'd you get your start in your sport?
I always swam when I was younger, and then when I was nine-years-old my father signed me up for So. Cal water polo at the high school close to my house. I fell in love with water polo and I've been playing ever since then.
Do you have any superstitions or good luck charms?
I started listening to a meditation CD everynight before games. That's one thing I like to do that calms me down before the game. And the night before I try to have a meal of chicken and pasta and red sauce.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I can see myself hopefully still playing water polo for the national team and hopefully having a job that allows me to play on the side.
If you could take part in any Olympic sport besides your own, what would it be?
I think I'd play basketball, just because that was one of my favorite sports growing up and I've always wanted to be able to be a great basketball player. I just chose water polo at a young age and never pushed [basketball] hard, but it would be fun to be a part of.
What's the best Olympic freebie you've gotten so far?
They've given us Cold Stone ice cream. They come to the pool and bring coolers of Cold Stone ice cream for us.
Do they bring all the toppings over, too?
No, they make them already and send them over, but it's all right.
What's your favorite kind of Chinese food, and how much of it are you planning on eating while you're in Beijing?
My favorite kind of Chinese food is P.F. Changs and it's a chicken and friend-rice. I don't know how much we'll be able to eat because the USOC is bringing us food over there and we're supposed to eat what they give us, so I don't know how much I'll be able to eat. But I hope to be able to get out and try some of the crazy dishes they have over there.
Is there anything you're hoping to see/do while in China?
I'd like to go see women's soccer play because a friend of mine made the team and is going. And I'd like to go see a little bit of the swimming, that would be fun. I'd love to go see the Great Wall if we have a chance, but I don't know if we will.
What's your proudest accomplishment in your sport thus far, besides making it to Beijing?
Hm. I don't know. I'd say just making it to the NCAA finals. We didn't win, but making it to the finals the past couple years has been a great opportunity for me.
How is an Olympic athlete treated on campus?
I don't know. I haven't been back to school yet. I'd expect that nothing will change. USC treats its athletes -- from the lowest-caliber to the highest-caliber -- all the same. I'm sure we'll be treated very well as we always have been, but there might be little perks here and there for making it to the Olympics.
People have definitely been very excited for me, and wanted to know what times things are on and when they can watch and what number I am and how much I'll get to play. Everyone's very excited.
Better uniform: USC or Team USA?
I think Team USA's is a better uniform because it encompasses my school while representing the whole United States. But I definitely like wearing Cardinal and Gold.
What are three movies, TV shows or bands you can't live without?
The Who for music, SportsCenter for TV and Big Lebowski for movies.
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Probably Micahel Jordan because of what he accomplished not only as an individual, but in a team effort. He was the best at what he did for so many years and ended on a high note. He couldn't really ask for more.
Who is your celebrity crush?
I don't know her name, but she was the red-headed girl in Grey's Anatomy. She's not on it anymore, but she was. She did a Cadillac commercial. Whatever her name is.
[Editor's note: we at SIOC suspect J.W.'s talking about Kate Walsh.]
Do you have any hobbies besides your sport?
I've been trying to learn how to play the guitar these past six months. Acoustic. It's going all right. I also like listening to a lot of music and watching movies.
If you win a medal, what will you do with it?
I'm going to wear it for probably a month-straight and never take it off. I'll sleep with it and everything.