Olympics gold medalist KK Clark reveals all: from her red nail polish to her nickname

Sacred Heart's Fiona Lempres interviews the Olympian in Atherton

Caroline "KK" Clark, who won an Olympics gold medal in water polo this summer in Rio, visited her alma mater, Sacred Heart Prep, on Sept. 13. Our correspondent, Fiona Lempres, an 8-year-old second-grader at Sacred Heart, interviewed her.

USA Water Polo champion KK Clark spoke to students at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton, on Sept. 13 about how she got to the Olympics from Sacred Heart. And she brought her gold medal! She gave this interview after her speech.

Question: How did you get your nickname?

Answer: My real name is Caroline and my last name is Clark so it should be CC. But I’m the youngest of three girls so my parents called me baby cakes, and that turned into cakes, and somehow that turned into KK. My older sister, Elizabeth, goes by ZZ so I may have tried to copy her.

Q: Do you have any superstitions?

A: I don’t have many because it’s important to be flexible. But before every game our captain, Maggie Steffens, always caps me. We take our hair out for the national anthem, and then we line up for the start, then she puts my cap on me. We do it every time no matter what.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: It was Eggo Waffles when I was growing up, and now it’s In-N-Out Burger.

Q: Do you always wear red nail polish?

A: This is actually the color I wore during the Olympics. The night before we started playing we got packages from our families and friends, and one of them was from my godmother with this nail polish in it. So I wore it during the Olympics and I keep wearing it because I like the color.

Q: Who inspired you?

A: A lot of people inspired me. My coaches. And my uncle, my mom’s brother, who was an Olympian in 1984. And his wife, my aunt, was a swimmer who qualified for the Olympics in 1980, but didn’t get to go because of politics. So I was inspired to win a medal for all the athletes that didn’t get to go in 1980.

Q: Do you still ride horses?

A: I haven’t ridden a horse in a long time because I didn’t want to get injured before the Olympics. So I don’t have a horse anymore, but I ride at the Menlo Circus Club when I visit.

Q: What was the most important thing you learned at Sacred Heart?

A: That’s a really good question because I learned so many things. I would say I learned how to balance academics with water polo with riding with all the other things going on in my life!

See an earlier Almanac story on KK Clark.

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Like this comment
Posted by Alexandra
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2016 at 7:24 am

It's great to see a local Olympic gold medalist profiled! I also love the angle of a fellow Sacred Heart student profiling the alumna, especially a young girl who can look up to KK Clark. It would be great to see more articles like this from the perspective of a young person - it's a great example for local kids.

Like this comment
Posted by Betty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 30, 2016 at 11:46 am

It's always interesting to read about someone from our community and his/her accomplishments. It's doubly wonderful to have a young student do the interview. Fiona did a great job!

Like this comment
Posted by local sports
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 30, 2016 at 12:14 pm

local sports is a registered user.

Actually, the interviewer is not from Sacred Heart (Prep), which is a high school. She probably attends St. Joseph's.

Like this comment
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Sep 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton Web Link has a lower, middle and high school (Sacred Heart Prep). Fiona attends the Sacred Heart lower school.

Like this comment
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Oct 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

Fans of Fiona may want to check out her new column on the Sacred Heart website Web Link "Fridays With Fiona." This week she interviews Dr. Slafter about the Sacred Heart farm.

Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2016 at 7:19 am

What a charming article! It's wonderful to see a such an accomplished young woman be featured as an example for little girls like Fiona. I look forward to hearing more interesting stories through "Friday's with Fiona".

Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2016 at 7:26 am

How wonderful that an Olympian would come back to the school that supported her as she was developing her skills. Sacred Heart must have provided meaningful values to KK, which inspired her to return to her alma malter and spend time with a current student. I thought the questions were well prepared and provided an opportunity for an interesting exchange between the alumna and the current student.

Like this comment
Posted by Marissa
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 6, 2016 at 6:16 pm

What a wonderful interview/article b/n Fiona & KK! Fiona asked very mature & interesting questions of her fellow alum. I look forward to reading more from Fiona in "Fri's w/ Fiona"....We'll done!

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