John Mann heads to Rio to compete in his second Olympics as a member of the U.S. men’s water polo team. The 31-year-old is getting attention for his play in the water, and his active life on social media.
Water polo beginnings
Team USA’s center is from Newport Beach, California, where he was a first-team All-American at Corona del Mar High School. Mann began playing water polo when he was 12, after previously trying surfing, swimming and diving. He went on to play at the University of California Berkeley, and won many honors including player of the year and the Cutino Award, the Heisman Trophy of water polo, in 2006, the same year the Bears won the NCAA championship. He finished his college career in 2007 as a three-time All-American and as the second all-time leading scorer in school history.
Mann was a member of Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics, scoring three goals. He also scored three goals for Team USA during their gold medal run in the 2015 Pan American Games. Earlier this year, he scored twice in the FINA World League Super Final and 12 goals in the FINA Intercontinental tournament. Mann’s club team, C.N. Marseille, won a French title in 2014-15.
Role on team
One of just four players on Team USA with Olympic experience, Mann will be a leader for teammates and young centers Alex Obert, 24, and Ben Hallock, 18, both of whom will look to learn from the water polo veteran. Mann has experience in a leadership role, having previously served as team captain in 2014 during Tony Azevedo’s absence.
Outside the pool
Mann has drawn a lot of attention prior to the Rio Games. He was named one of the 20 hottest guys at the 2016 Olympics by TimeOut. He’s also amassed more than 5,000 followers on Instagram and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter.
Mann likes to eat steel cut oats before every game. His dad was an offensive lineman at Purdue.