Water Polo has been part of the Olympics for over one hundred years. There are two categories one for the men and one for the women. The category for the women first began in 2000. Hungary has won more gold medals than any other country or countries combined.
The London 2012 Olympics will he holding the next Olympic Water Polo tournament. It can get very serious and competitive. The most remembered competition was in the 1956 Summer Olympics. During the semi-finals between Hungary and the Soviet Union. The game was called off in the final minute due to a fight that broker out. With a score of 4-0 with Hungary winning it is likely they were going to move on to the finals. In 2006 two films were released one documentary and the other a film from the eyes of one of the players. The film was called Children of Glory. Children of Glory was shown at the White House to President George Bush along with other guests such as the Governor of New York and Nobel Prize winner George Andrew Olah. It was shown on the 50th anniversary of the actual event which was October 23, 2006.
Hungary has won the most medals since 1900 with a total of fifteen. Nine gold, three silver and three bronze. The United States has won a total of twelve medals. One gold, six silver and five bronze. Serbia, Unified Team and West Germany come in at the bottom of the list winning only one bronze medal a piece.
In the women's category Australia, Italy and Netherlands have taken the gold medal since they started the category for the Summer Olympics. The US has taken two silver and one bronze medal in the women's category for Water Polo.
Water Polo is played with six players and a goalkeeper on each team. The object of the game is to get the most goals to score points to win. The players basically swim and throw the ball to their team mates to try to score in the net. The game is considered to be very similar in rules and how it is played to team handball. There are certain types of swims and strokes that you are allowed to do such as the back stroke or the front crawl. Not all strokes are considered legal in the game. You can also do what is called the scissor kick or treading water to move around and get to other parts of the pool faster. The six players try to move the ball to the goal and score while the goalkeeper can block and throw it back out to one of their team members to start moving the ball the other direction. In water polo you can receive minor and major injuries so be sure to have your eyes open and stay alert. At any time the ball could be coming right for you.