PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — To be the best in the game, there’s no doubt it takes dedication and hard work. But for West Linn water polo player Molly Glad, a four-time junior Olympian, there’s dreams of taking it to the next level.

Glad tells KOIN 6 News she took like a fish to water, which makes sense if you know her family.

“My entire family is required to swim,” she said. “My grandpa was a swimmer at the Olympic Trials, a phenomenal swimmer, so they put me in the water when I was 2.”

By the age of 9, she was competing in swimming and rock climbing when her mother suggested she try water polo.

“I loved it ever since,” she said. “Everything about it it’s like this combination of swimming and climbing — like you have the strength but you have the water. It wasn’t that hard of a decision when I was forced to quit swimming because water polo is so much better – I got a little tired of staring at a black line.”

For years, Glad juggled chasing her big dreams with the help of her family, school and training for water polo. She would wake up at 4 a.m., with her mother having coffee and lunch ready for her long day ahead, as she trained and educated her self, with her ultimate goals being an Olympian and a pediatric neurosurgeon.

However, midway through high school, it wasn’t enough for her to train as hard as she could in Portland. In order to train with the best of the best, Glad enrolled at George Washington University online high school — an online public school — and moved to Los Angeles, where she trains with and learns from Olympians while finishing her high school degree.

“It’s the best coaching and if I want to accomplish my dreams, it’s the only thing I could do,” she said.

Already a four-time junior Olympian, Glad is committed to the University of Southern California and will be watching the Tokyo Games this summer with the hopes that in a few years she’ll be joining them.

“Watching it there’s definitely a special place in my heart, like I want to be there someday, and it builds the drive for it.”