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Reno’s Stevenson trains for 2021 Olympics in Tokyo

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 10:18 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - One of 13.

That is what Reno native, and USA National Team water polo player, Ben Stevenson is trying to become when he is in the pool to train for the Olympics.

Making the team is something the city has never seen. The International Olympic Committee for Water Sports lists teams that go all the way back to 1908. No one from the Biggest Little City is listed.

“(I am) swimming every day for an hour to an hour and a half,” Stevenson said. “I’m in the gym for an hour every day. Then I’ll run for 40 minutes.”

Stevenson needs to train this hard if he wants to represent the United States in Tokyo in 2021.

He’s been in a pool since he was six thanks to his mom Paige. Stevenson, a former Reno High Husky, has traveled all over the world because of the sport he loves. But trainings in Las Vegas is what got him involved in the Olympic Development Program.

“One of the coaches from (the program) was an assistant coach at the University of Pacific and he recruited me and saw some potential in me,” Stevenson said.

The coaching staff at Pacific wasn’t the only group who needed Stevenson’s services. A call up to the USA Men’s National Team in 2017 is when life really got real.

“You kind of got to earn your keep (with the team) to stay on the team. There are probably 17 guys right now who are on the team competing for 13 spots in the Tokyo Olympics next summer,” he said.

One of just 13 is all the motivation Stevenson needs when training. The Coronavirus postponed this year’s games. That was not the worst thing the 25 year old could have heard.

“Our whole team is young so that just gives us another year of experience to get better and to learn.”

As for what comes next, who knows. COVID-19 just ended Stevenson’s season in Spain. He wants to go back overseas when play returns. Then it will be time to get ready for Tokyo.

Making the Olympic roster would be a dream come true for Stevenson. It would help pay people back who have helped him along the way, he said.

Stevenson will know if he makes the team next July.

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