After Silver, U.S. Men’s Olympic Water Polo Team Aims Higher

Many members of 2008 Silver Medal team are back

Crowds gathered at Pepperdine University  Thursday night to watch the U.S. men's Olympic water polo team tune up for their pursuit of gold -- something that has eluded the squad of long-time teammates.

More Coverage: Meet U.S. Men's Water Polo Team

"Waking up every morning with insane drive to accomplish what we haven't accomplished is the best way to put it," said team captain Tony Azevedo.

Fans at the Pepperdine pool got a close-up look at athletes who have the swimming finesse of dolphins, but the size of NFL linebackers.

Some have been working together for more than 10 years, sharing bonds in their quest for gold.

Long beach native Azevedo is making his fourth run for the gold. Last year, the team took home silver.

Standing in the United States' way has been Hungary, winners of three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics. Hungary returns to the Olympics with an aging group of players and some younger talent.

Four years ago in Beijing, Hungary defeated the United States 14-10 for gold.

Serbia is another team likely to put up a strong fight. Vanja Udovicic is the 2010 world player of the year and teammate Filip Filipovic is the 2011 world player of the year.

The team will practice Friday at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Practice starts at 10 a.m.

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