- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 6, 2017

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Kami Craig and Courtney Mathewson retired from the U.S. women’s water polo team Wednesday after a dominant run that included consecutive Olympic titles.

Craig, 30, turned into one of the top centers in the world during her time with Team USA, also winning a silver medal in Beijing in 2008 and three world championships. Mathewson, 31, was a key part of the national team’s perimeter attack.

“To have the opportunity to represent my country, the USA, playing the sport I love, and competing with a group of individuals who share the same passion and fire will be a time in my life I will forever cherish,” Craig said in a release.

“While winning has always been a huge motivation for me, it has been the time I spent training with my teammates that made showing up to the pool day in and day out not only possible, but enjoyable. I am forever grateful for the laughs, tears and experiences I shared with my teammates.”

USA Water Polo plans to pay tribute to the retiring players during its upcoming series against the Netherlands and China.

Craig also won an NCAA title for Southern California, and Mathewson won four straight national championships with UCLA from 2005-08.

“To be a part of the best women’s water polo team in the world for the past seven years has been a dream come true,” Mathewson said. “Two Olympic gold medals and a world championship are more than I ever could have imagined when I started playing water polo in Anaheim Hills over 20 years ago.”

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