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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, November 19, 2012

Olympic Gold Medalist Named For Holiday Parade

The Santa Barbara Downtown Organization announced today that Olympic Gold Medalist Kami Craig will serve as this year's Celebrity Grand Marshal for the 60th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade.


Kami Craig
Click to enlarge photo

Tenley Fohl Photography

Kami Craig

On November 30th at 6:30pm, the much anticipated parade will make its way down State Street amidst magnificent marching bands, fabulous floats and spectacular performance groups.

Presiding over the 2012 parade, Kami Craig is a professional water polo player who claimed her spot on the pool deck at the age of 4 and is currently known as one of the top centers in women’s water polo. By the age of 12, Kami was applying her swimming skills to the sport of water polo and quickly began to dominate the water. She went on to win a league championship as a freshman at Santa Ynez High School and as a junior at Santa Barbara High School. She helped lead her team to a CIF title her junior and senior years and was named CIF MVP and All-American first team as a senior. She still holds the Santa Barbara High School record for single-season goals (123) and the most goals scored in one game (9). Both the LA Times and the Santa Barbara News-Press named her Player of the Year. Kami went on to play water polo at the collegiate level at the University of Southern California (USC) where she held high scoring records all four years from the tough center position. During her time at USC, Kami was named to the 2006 MPSF All-Freshman Team, received All-American honorable mention, took home the 2010 National Championship and was the winner of the 2009 and 2010 Peter J. Cutino Award as college game’s best player.

While at USC, Kami was selected to play on the Women’s Senior National Team whose members represent the United States at top international events including FINA World Championships, Pan American Games, FINA World Cup, FINA World League, Holiday Cup and the Olympic Games. Kami competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China where she scored six goals to help her team bring home the Silver Medal. She played her first professional season in Greece in 2011 and most recently returned to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England where she again recorded six goals to help Team USA win the Gold Medal!

When Kami is not in the pool, she focuses her energy on public and motivational speaking at area schools and club teams. Kami grew up with learning disabilities so through her speaking, she shares the challenges and obstacles that she faced and overcame to ultimately reach her goals.

The parade will also feature the Holiday Prince and Fairy riding in a horse drawn carriage and Santa Claus, the most anticipated appearance of the season, will conclude the festivities. A Meet and Greet with Santa Claus will take place in Paseo Nuevo from 4:00pm-5:30pm on Friday, November 30th.

The parade is FREE and begins at 6:30pm on State at Sola Street and concludes at Cota Street. For more information, contact the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization at (805) 962-2098 ext. 22 or visit click here.

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