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Jessica Marie Steffens (born April 7, 1987) is an American water polo player. She was a member of the United States national teams that won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She also played at Stanford University.

Jessica Steffens
Jessica Steffens.jpg
Steffens at the 2012 ALMA Awards
Personal information
Full nameJessica Marie Steffens
Born (1987-04-07) April 7, 1987 (age 32)
San Francisco, California
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)

Personal lifeEdit

Steffens was born in San Francisco, California to Peggy Schnugg and Carlos Steffens. Her father, a native of Puerto Rico, became interested in the sport of water polo after witnessing a match as a child in Puerto Rico. He played for Puerto Rico in three Pan American Games. Her father left the island and joined the water polo team of University of California, Berkeley where he became a three-time All-American, leading the California Golden Bears to the 1977 NCAA championship.[1][2][3] In 1979, he was the PAC-10 player of the year in water polo.[4]

Jessica is 6 ft 0 in (183 cm) tall and has two sisters and one brother, who all played water polo. Her sister Maggie is also on the U.S. national team.[5]


High schoolEdit

Steffens, inspired by her father, played on the water polo team for four years at Monte Vista High School. She led the team to the NCS championship twice.[6]


Steffens started her career at Stanford University as a freshman in 2006. She scored 15 goals that season, as the Cardinal finished third at the NCAA championships. The following year, she scored 35 goals, and Stanford finished second in the country.[6]

Steffens redshirted the 2008 season to train with the U.S. national team while they prepared for the 2008 Olympics. She returned to Stanford in 2009, scored 12 goals, and was named to the All-MPSF first team and All-National Collegiate first team.[6] In her senior year, she scored 17 goals, helping Stanford advance to the NCAA final.[5]


Steffens scored five goals in the 2007 Pan American Games, as the U.S. finished first. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she scored five goals, helping the U.S. win the silver medal, and was named to the Olympic Media All-Star team. At the 2009 FINA World Championships, she scored four times, and the U.S. won gold.[5]

Steffens did not compete in 2010 following shoulder surgery. She returned in 2011 and helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the Pan American Games. She then won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[5]