Krystina Alogbo Quits The Olympic Dream
Walking away from the ultimate dream for any athlete, qualifying for and competing in the Olympic Games, certainly does not make any sense to the outsider looking in. But to Canadian water polo star Krystina Alogbo, choosing between following an Olympic dream, and walking away from that dream, has been all about embracing an all-new challenge in pursuit of a normal life of financial and social security.
With her playing career over, and through no fault of her own, Alogbo now acts as a top coach for CSS Verona, Italy. And even though it would seem like madness to most to walk away from a 16-year international water polo career on the eve of what would have been a maiden Olympic appearance, to Alogbo, health and livelihood prevailed.
A Matter Of Priorities
After Alogbo guided the Canadian women’s water polo team to a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as captain back in 2019, a global health crisis had other plans. At the end of the day, physical as well as mental health prevailed as Alogbo announced her retirement from playing professional water polo in August.
But instead of relief, Alogbo said she felt mostly shock – even after she spent months on end debating the life-changing decision within herself. After 15 years a profession water polo player with an illustrious career, the decision to finally make the move to Verona still did not come easy, remembers the Montreal-born former elite athlete.
How Legends Are Made
In her new surroundings in Italy, the locals know Alogbo as “Il Coccodrillo” which means “crocodile”. Even though the champion Canadian has only lived in Verona for a few years, she’s fully recognised as the ferocious and champion athlete that she really is.
Alogbo’s love for sport, and water polo in particular, developed from a very early age. Mom Simone, who raised two girls and three boys as a single mother working as a credit manager in Montreal, remembers how Alogbo had always been exceptionally good at playing sports. Even at soccer, whenever there had been a choice between Alogbo and boy, Simone says Alogbo would be picked to play.
As soon as Alogbo began playing water polo at the age of eight, she immediately developed a love and a passion for the game – showing from an early age already the strong character traits of the leader she would eventually become.
And now, looking back on her decision to retire from water polo without an Olympic appearance, Alogbo says she can rest assured that a true star’s legacy is defined as someone who leaves the sport in a better place than where it was when they first started playing. As she considers the young talent about to take Canadian water polo’s legacy forward, Alogbo is finally able to feel some comfort about her decision to retire.
As would any legend of her stature.