From Near Tragedy to Olympic Gold, 2-Sport Star Kaleigh Gilchrist Overcomes Adversity and Offers Lesson in Dedication and Perseverance with Inspiring Journey
Following well-publicized accident and Kobe Bryant-inspired “Mamba Mission” rehabilitation, Gilchrist wins second gold medal with Team USA Water Polo.
Newport Beach, CA – As the 2020 Olympic Games come to a close, so does a chapter in the life and career of Newport Beach, California’s Kaleigh Gilchrist. Gilchrist, who lead Team USA to gold in Rio in 2016, caps off an amazing personal comeback in Tokyo with her second Olympic gold medal in water polo. Gilchrist, like all Olympians, had to deal with the uncertainty of the global pandemic, but she also was in the midst of major rehab after a well-publicized injury following the 2019 world championships in South Korea – a balcony collapse that left 2 dead and 16 injured, including Gilchrist.
Gilchrist suffered leg laceration and underwent surgery in Gwangju before returning to Southern California where she began a rehab stint during which she struck a relationship with and found a mentor in the late Kobe Bryant. Team USA trainer Larnie Boquiren dubbed Gilchrist’s rehab efforts “Mamba Mission” in homage to her local hero.
Gilchrist, in addition to being a world-class and accomplished water polo player, Is a professional surfer, splitting her time on the World Surf League Qualifying Surf Series. Her father, Sandy Gilchrist, competed for Team Canada as a swimmer in the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics. Her uncle, Allen Gilchrist, swam for Canada in the 1948 and 1952 Games.