For Brenda Villa, the path to water polo glory began in the City of Commerce

Brenda Villa Portrait
Brenda Villa had an aquatic center in Commerce named after her following a gold medal win by the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics, Villa’s first gold and fourth medal overall.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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Helene Elliott joined the Los Angeles Times’ sports department in 1989. She became the first female journalist to be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame of a major professional sport as the 2005 winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Elmer Ferguson Award, awarded to writers “who have brought honor to journalism and to hockey.” A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she has covered 16 Olympics. She recently crossed covering Wimbledon off her bucket list.
Christina House officially joined the Los Angeles Times photography staff in 2017 after nearly 10 years as a freelance photographer. A native Southern Californian, she grew up in Long Beach and graduated from Cal State Fullerton.