2012 London bronze medallist Holly Lincoln-Smith made her second Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 as the centre forward on the Australian Women’s Water Polo Team.
The Aussies kicked started their Rio campaign with a strong, dominant 14-4 win over Russia. Their second pool match proved to be more of a challenge with the green and gold side narrowly going down to Italy 7-8 despite the scores being tied until the final seconds.
The Aussies then powered home to take a decisive 10-3 win over hosts Brazil in the final pool game, setting up a quarter final clash against Hungary. In a physical, tense and ultimately heartbreaking encounter the Australians lost in a penalty shootout after scores were level, 8-8, after four quarters, ending their 2016 Olympic campaign.
Lincoln-Smith was inspired to try water polo at age 13 by her high school teacher – 2000 Olympic water polo gold medallist Debbie Watson. She competed in her first major senior international tournament at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, before having shoulder surgery later that year.
The Sydney-sider was back in the pool in 2010, helping Australia win gold at the FINA World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand before making her Olympic debut at the 2012 London games, winning bronze in a penalty shootout against Hungary.
Lincoln-Smith met her husband James when she was 17 years old, as both were representing Australia in water polo. Her love story follows that of her parents, who also met playing water polo when they were at Sydney University.
In making the 2012 London team, Lincoln-Smith and her sister Emma became the first siblings to compete at a Summer and Winter Olympics for Australia. Emma competed in the skeleton at the 2012 Vancouver Winter Olympics where she placed 10th, the best ever result for an Australian.