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Kaleigh Gilchrist is a 28 year old Professional Surfer and Olympic Water Polo Gold Medalist living in Newport Beach. She is actively redefining the boundaries of world-class athleticism through her inspiring pursuit of excellence.
Where are you from?
Newport Beach, California
What inspires you the most?
My family and friends working hard to become their best version.
What is one thing you cannot live without?
What makes you feel connected to Orange County and Huntington Beach?
I’ve called Newport home my entire life. I love seeing familiar faces and friends at the local coffee shop or in the line up. It’s a special community that I am so grateful to be a part of.
Describe your perfect cocktail.
A piña colada and drinking it somewhere tropical!
What impact/impression do you hope your work makes on people/the world? What do you want people/society to “take away” from your sport?
First off, when I hang up the bathing suit and the jersey from competition I hope I leave both sports better than I found them and secondly, I hope to remind people that getting to the top isn’t all about hard work, commitment, competition and sacrifices (although those things are necessary), but it is also about the joy, connections, love and fun that I so often see forgotten about it in this day and age.
What is the proudest moment of your career?
Hugging my family after our team won the Gold medal in Rio. They’ve been the best supporters over the years and are a huge reason why I made it to Rio. To be able to share that moment with them is something I will never forget.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The late great Coach Barnett, who I was lucky enough to be coached by in high school said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. And you must always keep in mind the choice you make, makes you.”