Heather Petri

Olympic Women's Water Polo Gold Medalist

National Advisory Board

Heather Petri is one of the most decorated female water polo players in the world. She is one of two, US female water polo players, to have competed in four Olympic Games, and the US team is the only female water polo team to have medaled in all four Olympic games they have competed in. They earned a silver medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and just recently, earned a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

In addition to Heather’s Olympic medals, she has won Gold medals in three Pan American Tournaments, in 2003, 2007 and 2011, as well as three Gold medals at World Championship with Team USA in 2003, 2007, and 2009.

Heather started swimming when she was 5 years old at the neighbor hood swim pool, Moraga Valley Pool. She did not began playing water polo until her sophomore year at Miramonte High School when she joined the boys’ JV team. Heather helped start a Women’s Water Polo program her junior year; of which she was captain for two years.

Heather attended UC Berkeley, where she played collegiate water polo from 1997-1999, took the 2000 season off to compete in the Sydney Olympic Games, and then returned in 2001 to finish her eligibility and lead the team as captain. Petri earned All-American and All-MPSF honors during her time at Cal and finished her college career with 96 goals. She graduated from Berkeley in 2002 with a degree in Integrative Biology. Heather is also the ONLY UC Berkeley athlete to have competed in four Olympics.

Heather continued her career, by playing professionally for Rari-Nantes in Florence, Italy in 2004 to 2006; Vouliagmeni Nautical Club near Athens, Greece, and while there, helping her team win two coveted European Champions Cup titles in 2009 and in 2010; and Flamengo, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they won their first ever National League Title in 2010.

Heather has always been a big supporter of the fight against cancer. Participating in swims in the San Francisco Bay for Swim Across America & organizing a cancer awareness game for the National Team this past year.  She also believes strongly in giving back through sport by participating in the efforts of organizations like Right to Play and Athletes For Hope, and talking to schools and water polo programs.