#AllezAUS 'Let's Go Australia'
Sport: Water Polo
Olympic History: Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020
Year Born: 1991
Born: Perth, WA
With parents who both represented Australia in Water Polo, Zoe Arancini has always been passionate about the sport and had the opportunity to showcase her experience and skills when she made her Olympic debut at Rio.
Her father and mother, Wendy, have both played Water Polo for Australia, as well as her aunt, Megan. Her mother and aunt won gold at the 1986 World Championships and her mother was inducted into the Australian Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2009. Her father played for Australia at the 1981 World Junior Championships and was a regular state and national league player.
Zoe burst onto the international scene in 2009 winning bronze with the Stingers at the FINA World Super League final, beating Spain 12-8.
In 2013, she won her first FINA World Championship medal, a silver. Her second, bronze came in the 2019 event where she picked up the MVP award for scoring three goals in the 10-9 win over Hungary.
But disappointment came in 2012 when Arancini made the 17-athlete London 2012 Olympics training squad, but missed the cut when the team was reduced to 13. However, her Olympic moment arrived by making the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Team to continue a great family tradition in Water Polo.
At Rio 2016, the Aussies kicked started their 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.
Zoe credits her dad for being one of her best coaches after she came into the sport because she found it more interesting to play than just swimming laps.
To expand her horizons further, Zoe spent time in 2018 in the Chinese city of Kunshan where she trained full-time with China's national women's team.
The Western Australian-born athlete plays for the Fremantle Marlins in the National League, which is coached by her father Peter Arancini.
Zoe made her second Olympic appearance at the delayed Tokyo 2020 games. Australia would play out strong opening group ties, finishing their pool with an impressive 3-1 record, advancing to the quarter-finals of the games in second position. There they would play out a tense match against the ROC, narrowly missing out on progression in the tournament after being defeated 9-8.
Zoe would play a key role in Australia bouncing back from this defeat, scoring 5 goals in their following game against Canada. Pushing the Aussies towards thier eventual 5th placing at the games, after later defeating the Netherlands. Arancini would also end the games with the equal 6th most steals at the games (8).