Updated: Jun 12
Brenda Villa was born in East Los Angeles, and at the age of six she started swimming for Commerce Aquatics.
At age eight she got her start in water polo. Graduating from Bell Gardens High School in 1998, finishing her career there as a four-time First-Team All-American.
Brenda arrived at Stanford University as the nation’s top recruit, and red-shirted two years to train for the Sydney Olympics.
As a 20-year-old, she led the U.S. team with nine goals in Sydney, where the US took home the silver medal, going down to the powerful Aussies.
She finished her Stanford career as a three-time All-American, with a degree in political science.
In 2004 at the Athens Olympics Brenda again led the team in scoring at the tournament.
USA went on to claim bronze medal, reversing the fortunes on the Aussies 6-5.
Team USA took silver at the 2008 Beijing Games going down to the Netherland 9-8 in an epic final.
In what was to be her fourth and final Olympics in London 2012, Brenda and her teammates triumphed 8-5 over Spain in the final, bringing home the Gold for the first time for Team USA!
3 x World Champion
3 x Pan American Gold
1 x Fina World Cup winner
7 x World League Champion.
1 x Olympic Gold
2 x Olympic Silver
1 x Olympic Bronze
FINA Magazine named Brenda the Female Water Polo Player of the Decade (2000-10).
Inducted into Swimming International Hall of Fame 2018.