Larry Comstock. I can see Bob Polkinghorn writing this about Bob Kazebee some day, or Mark Collins about John Hansen some day, or Barb Smith Whitfield about Cheryl Lindsey or Marianne Luther Seefeldt some day, or David Rechnitzer about Dave Murphy, or Brad Rawlings writing about some of his teammates some day, or Betsy Burleigh about Nat Theibert some day, or Judy Scheid about Cindy Hall some day. Or I might write this way about Jeff Nix some day, or Dennis Challman or John Thompson or Holly Cresswell or Randy McDonald or Mary Beth Thompson or Marilyn Simeroth or Kenny Slezak. I can imagine Bob Smirl might write this way about Fred Crawford some day, or vice versa. I can imagine dozens of us writing about Mrs. Obler, or Frau Stuart, or Coach McCall some day. It depends only on who goes first. The tenderness you’ll see inspired me. These are not two little old ladies knitting doilies in South Pasadena: they were big, strong world class water polo players.
June 21, 2019 - USA Water Polo mourns the loss of Olympian and Hall of Fame inductee Eric Lindroth. The USA Water Polo and UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame inductee was part of the 1972 U.S. Men's Olympic Water Polo Team that claimed bronze, the first medal for Team USA in 40 years. Lindroth won in water polo at every level. From a CIF championship in high school at Newport Harbor to multiple NCAA championships at UCLA to a variety of medals won internationally with Team USA. Lindroth played for Team USA from 1970-1983 earning multiple Pan American Games medals and was part of the 1980 team that did not take part in the Olympic Games due to the United States boycott of the competition. Domestically, Lindroth won nine AAU Senior National Outdoor titles, all part of a storied career in the pool.
Many of Lindroth's former teammates shared memories of their close friend following his passing from melanoma:
For as long as I have known Eric, starting with competing against him as a junior in high school, Eric has been the hero of pretty much every water polo story. He was my roommate at the Pan American Games in 1975 (silver medal), and after the bitter conclusion of that Olympiad (1976) where we did not qualify for the Montreal Olympics, we came storming back and won a European tournament in Krefeld, Germany in 1977. Eric and I connected repeatedly on front court goals that no team in the world could stop.
The hero part of my Eric Story revolves around Italian dinners in West Los Angeles, when Debi (Eric's wife) and Eric would come and stay with me and my wife Agnes while they were going to oncologist appointments at UCLA and having updated scans, having traveled from their home in San Diego.
Not once did Eric ever complain about his fate, not once. Dinners were upbeat, story-telling affairs, and a lot of laughs. Eric was always more curious about my wife's shoulder replacement plight while she battled rheumatoid arthritis, versus his cancer prognosis. After dinners, we would sit in the kitchen and continue the story telling, not dwelling on diminishing oncology reports or scans that were not going the right way. I have never seen two people that were better suited to fighting this heinous disease as Debi and Eric. Debi with her tough steely resolve (we will find a way, and Eric with his sweet gentle upbeat approach to his wife and his fate.)
To me what sums up Eric, is that we can grieve over the fact that Eric did not get his length of years, but we cannot count Eric's years, that is because he made his years count. Someone will really have to dig to find nicer, kinder children and that is better than any water polo legacy.