Chatting with Four Time Junior Olympic Gold Medalist and Bronco James Rude

By Sara Vierra '15

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Four time Junior Olympic Gold Medalist James Rude (JR) joined the Bronco's men's water polo team as part of the class of 2016. Rude has been playing water polo since he was 12 years old and has had a passion for it ever since. Rude tells www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) more about his experience with water polo in addition to his first fall quarter here at Santa Clara University.

SCB: How does it feel to be a four time Junior Olympic Gold Medalist in water polo?
JR:  It feels surreal to say the least. It's one of those things that you never really expect, but to win it that many times is a blessing.

SCB: What win, for the Junior Olympics, has been most memorable and why?
JR: The most memorable Junior Olympics for me was when I was 14, and my team was predicted to finish 13th. In the end, we made it all the way to the finals and beat the two top teams in our age group. 

SCB: When did you being to play water polo? 
JR: I began playing water polo when I was 12 years old. I started playing because my brother had just started it and really liked it so he recommended it. I have loved it ever since! 

SCB: What aided you in your decision to attend Santa Clara University?
JR: What aided me in my decision to come to Santa Clara was the great academics it offers, the very welcoming water polo coach, and I felt like I meshed with the other players really well upon meeting them. They made me feel like this is where I belong. 

SCB: How would you describe your SCU experience thus far?
JR: I would describe my Santa Clara experience so far as stressful, hard, but a lot of fun. It is hard getting used to managing a large load between sports, school, and having some sort of social life, but I feel I am starting to find a happy medium between it all. 

SCB: Do you have any career aspirations as of right now?
JR: At the moment I am aspiring to become a physical therapist by getting my Ph.D. in sports medicine. 

SCB: What is your favorite place to vacation over the summer?
JR: My favorite place to vacation over summer would have to be Hawaii.