NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - With the Rio Olympics just over 30 days away, the U.S. Women's Water Polo Team, the No. 1 team in the world, has made the trip to the East Coast for exhibition play. And in the process, they're showing fans that just like in London in 2012, gold is on their mind once again.
"You spend so much time preparing, 4 years preparing for an Olympics," Kami Craig said. "And as it gets closer and closer the Olympic spirit and the buzz starts hypening up. And it gets really exciting."
As the only member of Team USA competing in a third Olympic Games, Craig knows that spirit better than anyone.
"This third time around, it's a different journey but just taking what I've learned from the past two Olympics and sharing it with my teammates and getting the girls as prepared as possible, has really been my focus this quad," she said.
The preparation is showing. Despite only 4 players returning from the 2012 gold medal team, the women look more ready than ever.
"Us newcomers might outweigh the old guys by a little bit but they are awesome," Rachel Fattal said. "We have great leadership on our team and I think they've really balanced us and made us be able to be comfortable with what we're about to do."
What they're about to do could be historic. Since the women's competition was added to the games in 2000, the U.S. is the only team to medal in every Olympics. And at Rio, they'll have the chance to become the first to successfully defend the gold.
"We're young, we're talented, we're fast, we're physically strong, we're mentally strong," Craig said. "It's really fun to play water polo with this group."
"You see it when we play. It is sometimes the most beautiful water polo I've ever seen, because it's selfless," Maggie Steffens said. "It's the essence of teamwork, and I think that's the coolest thing about being a part of this USA Women's Water Polo team. And to share that experience with them and hopefully to play our best on the biggest stage. It's going to be a feeling I'll remember forever."