With the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mere months away, the United States Olympic Committee is pulling out all the stops to spread the Olympic spirit. Team USA’s Road to Rio—a nationwide extravaganza featuring nine stops across the country—touched down last month in New York City’s Times Square. Luminaries including Michelle Obama and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma communed with 85 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in joining the countdown to the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad on August 5 in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium.

At the Road to Rio event I interviewed Team USA water polo athletes Courtney Mathewson and Tony Azevedo, who spoke passionately of their Olympic experience and expectations.