Museum
Michael Haley (USA)
2013 Honor Water Polo Player

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (30+); 1998 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (30+); 2000 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 5TH (35+); 2002 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (35+); 2004 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (40+); 2006 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (40+); 2008 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (THE FIRST TIME AN ATHLETE COULD COMPETE ON TWO TEAMS FROM THE SAME CLUB): silver (45+), bronze (40+); 2010 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (45+), silver (30+); 2012 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (45+); 20 UNITED STATES MASTERS NATIONAL WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Mike Haley began his water polo journey in Lodi, California, at Tokay High School, where he was a high school All-American in 1979 and 1980. He continued on at the University of the Pacific, where he was a college All-American in 1982, 1983 and 1984. He also played on the National Junior Team in 1980 and participated in the Pan Am Games and World Championships. He won the gold medal at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, has won four U.S. Senior National Championships and has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Club of San Francisco since 1984.

Mike moved on to Masters competitions in the sport of water polo in 1994 and has won more than 20 Masters National Championships over the years at various age levels. Mike, as a member of the Olympic Club, attended his first international competition at the FINA World Championships in Sheffield, England in 1996. Mike is the only athlete that has been on every FINA World Championships team from the Olympic Club, and continues to lead the club today.

With Mike as an integral part of the team, the Olympic Club is the most decorated club in the FINA World Masters Championships. Mike’s team won the gold medal in 1996 in Sheffield in the 30+ age group, and the gold medal in 1998 in Casablanca in the 30+ age group. In 2000, in Munich, his team the 35+ age group placed fifth. In 2002 in Christchurch, his 35+ team earned the gold medal. In 2004, in San Marino, Mike and the 40+ team won the silver medal; in 2006, the 40+ team won the gold medal. In 2008, which was the first time an athlete could compete on two teams from the same club, Mike won the silver in the 45+ age group, and the bronze in the 40+ age group. At the 2010 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, they won the bronze in the 45+age group and the silver in the 30+ age group. And most recently in 2012, in Riccione, they won the gold in the 45+ age group.

One of Mike’s most memorable experiences competing in Masters, came at the 2012 FINA Masters World Championships. Mike and his team competed in one of the most dramatic comeback performances in the gold medal game. Mike was playing on the 45+ team which ended up winning the gold medal after a shootout, with Mike scoring the winning goal on his 49th birthday. For Mike, as special as winning the gold medal was the fact that his daughter Anna had accompanied him to the World Championships and was able to share in the excitement with him.

Mike has been a leader for the Olympic Club teams on which he has played, both in and out of the water. His humor and love of the game inspires others to play better and to keep up with him. His ability to “play down” as exhibited by competing in 45+ and 30+ teams at past FINA Championships is emblematic of his desire to assist the team.

Mike Haley began his water polo journey in Lodi, California, at Tokay High School, where he was a high school All-American in 1979 and 1980. He continued on at the University of the Pacific, where he was a college All-American in 1982, 1983 and 1984. He also played on the National Junior Team in 1980 and participated in the Pan Am Games and World Championships. He won the gold medal at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, has won four U.S. Senior National Championships and has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Club of San Francisco since 1984.

Mike moved on to Masters competitions in the sport of water polo in 1994 and has won more than 20 Masters National Championships over the years at various age levels. Mike, as a member of the Olympic Club, attended his first international competition at the FINA World Championships in Sheffield, England in 1996. Mike is the only athlete that has been on every FINA World Championships team from the Olympic Club, and continues to lead the club today.

With Mike as an integral part of the team, the Olympic Club is the most decorated club in the FINA World Masters Championships. Mike’s team won the gold medal in 1996 in Sheffield in the 30+ age group, and the gold medal in 1998 in Casablanca in the 30+ age group. In 2000, in Munich, his team the 35+ age group placed fifth. In 2002 in Christchurch, his 35+ team earned the gold medal. In 2004, in San Marino, Mike and the 40+ team won the silver medal; in 2006, the 40+ team won the gold medal. In 2008, which was the first time an athlete could compete on two teams from the same club, Mike won the silver in the 45+ age group, and the bronze in the 40+ age group. At the 2010 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, they won the bronze in the 45+age group and the silver in the 30+ age group. And most recently in 2012, in Riccione, they won the gold in the 45+ age group.

One of Mike’s most memorable experiences competing in Masters, came at the 2012 FINA Masters World Championships. Mike and his team competed in one of the most dramatic comeback performances in the gold medal game. Mike was playing on the 45+ team which ended up winning the gold medal after a shootout, with Mike scoring the winning goal on his 49th birthday. For Mike, as special as winning the gold medal was the fact that his daughter Anna had accompanied him to the World Championships and was able to share in the excitement with him.

Mike has been a leader for the Olympic Club teams on which he has played, both in and out of the water. His humor and love of the game inspires others to play better and to keep up with him. His ability to “play down” as exhibited by competing in 45+ and 30+ teams at past FINA Championships is emblematic of his desire to assist the team.

 


Greg Louganis
Eraldo

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