August 21, 2012
The City of Commerce will dedicate its aquatics center to Olympic gold medalist Brenda Villa, during a welcoming home celebration scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, August 26 at Rosewood Park, located at 5600 Harbor St. in Commerce. The City will recognize Villa’s legacy by renaming the center the “Brenda Villa Aquatic Center.” The public is invited to come meet Brenda Villa and celebrate her gold medal victory with the City of Commerce.
Villa made Olympic history when she captured the first Olympic gold medal for the United States Women’s Water Polo as the US Olympic Team beat Spain for the Gold Medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. Villa served as captain for Team USA and scored one of the eight goals that led her team to victory. The gold medal completes Villa’s Olympic medal collection. She earned a silver medal in 2000, a bronze in 2004, and another silver in 2008. This was Villa’s last Olympics, as she announced her retirement and plans to move to Northern California where she will be working with a nonprofit group to introduce disadvantaged youth to water safety, swimming and water polo.
Villa is a four-time Olympian whose athleticism, determination and ambition established her reputation as a world-class, professional water polo player and made her one of the top women athletes of all time. Dubbed “The Wayne Gretzky of Water Polo,” Villa got her start in Commerce Aquatics at age 6 and developed athletic skills by competing in the City’s water polo and swim teams. The most decorated women’s water polo player in the world, Villa was named FINA Aquatics World Magazine Female Water Polo Player of the Decade in 2010.
The soon to be Brenda Villa Aquatic Center, also known as the Aquatorium, is an indoor aquatic facility that provides a variety of aquatic-related programs and activities for people of all ages. The facility has two indoor heated swimming pools, separate locker rooms for males and females, shower facilities, two gender-specific dry-heat saunas, two physical fitness rooms, and an outdoor children's wading pool. It is home to the nationally ranked men's and women's water polo teams. Additionally, the Aquatorium is also home to the state-recognized Commerce swim team.