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February 12th, 2018
According to NCAA statistics, the odds of being drafted by an NBA team out of university is 0.02% and going to the NFL is only slightly higher at 0.03%. When it comes to making the Olympics, that number goes down to around 0.0013%, so having an Olympian as a coworker is very impressive.
Kelly Rulon, our commercial lines advisor in Anaheim, California, is a world-class water polo athlete who competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (bronze medal) and the 2012 Olympic Games in London (gold medal). Kelly brings her competitive drive and team spirit to Brown & Brown every day.
Our Brown & Brown Communications team recently connected with Kelly as she reflected on her Olympic team experiences and highlights of the Olympic Games. Brown & Brown is proud of Kelly’s incredible accomplishments as part of Team USA and is thrilled she now is part of Team Brown & Brown. Read on to learn more about Kelly, an Olympian among us.
What I do at Brown & Brown. I am a P&C broker and I’ve been with Brown & Brown for two years.
Originally from… I grew up in San Diego and now I live in Newport Beach, California.
Toes in the water. I started swimming at age 5 and water polo at age 13.
Role model. Growing up my role model was Michael Jordan.
Olympic aspirations. I dreamt about being an Olympian since I can remember. I guess I always thought it was possible.
Being named to the U.S. Olympic team not once, but twice. The two varied so much. The first one in Athens I was 19 and the youngest on the team, so I really had no idea what to expect. The second one in London I was seasoned, had been training with Team USA for about three years and knew what was coming. Both were very special, but London took the cake as we brought home gold.
Representing the stars and stripes. I feel honored to be able to play a sport that I love and represent our amazing country as there is really no other place in the world like the USA. It was a time in my life that I am forever grateful for.
What mere amateurs might not know about water polo. I honestly think it is one of the hardest sports out there. We would train eight (8) hours a day and our game time was only 55 minutes. There are a lot of things that go on under the water. I have been bitten, punched, and even chipped a tooth. A couple of my teammates got their eyes cut open from elbows or fists, so it’s not one of the gentler sports. But at the end of the day, it is really fun.
Pool time today. I, unfortunately, don’t swim as much as I would like to these days as time is limited. I do, however, coach a 14-and-under girls water polo team. It allows me to stay involved, be a positive role model and inspire young women to strive for greatness.
Competition. I miss it every single day. I really miss competing.
Athlete’s Village. This is an amazing part of the Olympic experience for athletes. The fact that you have all of these amazing athletes in one place, who are from all different countries and cultures, and they all get along and are grateful to be there – this creates an amazing atmosphere and experience. I just loved it.
Olympic highlights (outside of winning gold, of course!). Walking into Opening Ceremonies always gets me. I also got sit next to Lebron James on the bus ride from the village to the Stadium and we got to talk about life, polo and basketball. That was pretty cool!
Favorite Winter Olympic Games sport. I prefer Summer Olympic Games, but I do like watching the downhill skiing.
Fun factoid. I lived in Italy for three years, playing professionally and I can speak Italian.
Favorite quote. “No pain, no gain.”
My playlist. I am really into country music right now.
Favorite food. Pizza
Favorite travel destinations. Istanbul and Bondi Beach
When not working… I love hanging out with my son and husband and I enjoy traveling.
My dinner foursome. If I could invite three people to dinner I would invite Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan and Oprah.
Fast facts about Kelly’s water polo career (courtesy of Team USA)
Additional Career Highlights: