As the 2016 Olympics conclude in Rio, the athletes return home and for several of them that’s Newport Beach.
Olympians that either live in Newport or attended a local high school include: Charlie Buckingham, Luca Cupido, Kaleigh Gilchrist, John Mann, Sam Mikulak, Maddie Musselman, and April Ross.
Buckingham was a part of the U.S. sailing team. He placed 11th in the Laser (one-person dinghy) event. The 27-year-old was born and raised in Newport Beach. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 2007 and went on to study government at Georgetown University. He is a member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
Men’s water polo player Cupido, 20, left his native Italy for Newport Beach several years ago. Cupido and Team USA placed 10th in Rio. He graduated from Newport Harbor HS in 2014 and currently attends University of California, Berkeley. He plays the attacker position and is a member of the Newport Beach Water Polo Club.
On the U.S. women’s water polo team, Gilchrist also plays in the attacker position and earned a gold medal in Rio. The 24-year-old is another NHHS graduate (2010) who was born and raised in Newport Beach. She studied communications at the University of Southern California and completed her degree in 2014. She is a member of the New York Athletic Club. She is also a professional surfer and aspires to pursue a surfing career after she retires from water polo.
Another of many water polo players (over the years) who hail from Newport Beach is Mann, who played center for the U.S. team in Rio. The 31-year-old graduated from Corona del Mar High School in 2003 and from University of California, Berkeley in 2008, studying international relations foreign language. The two-time Olympian also participated in the London games in 2012, where he placed eighth.
Gymnast Mikulak, 23, is also a two-time Olympian, and placed fifth (team, vault) in London. In the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he again placed fifth (team); as well as seventh (all-around), eighth (floor), and fourth (horizontal bar). The 2010 CdMHS alumni graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014, where he studied psychology.
Another women’s water polo player, Musselman, was in the attacker position in Rio for team USA. She de-enrolled from CdMHS in 2015 to train full-time with the U.S. senior national team. She also earned a gold medal with her team in Rio. The 18-year-old is a member of CdM Aquatics.
Beach volleyball player Ross is from Costa Mesa but attended NHHS. In 2005, she graduated from USC, where she studied international marketing. She and Kerri Walsh Jennings won bronze in Rio. The 34-year-old earned a silver with Jennifer Kessy in the 2012 Olympic games.
For more information, visit teamusa.org.