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What Do You Carry: Shea Buckner, Olympic Water Polo Player
It’s his first time at the Olympics, but Shea Buckner is certainly no rookie when it comes to traveling. Check out what tech he brings with him on the road.
The best part of being a professional athlete, says Olympic water polo player Shea Buckner, is getting to travel all the time. Before leaving for the London Games, for instance, Buckner and the rest of Team USA had just returned from a three-week training trip to Kazakhstan, Croatia, Turkey, and Montenegro.
The California native played three seasons at USC, where he led the team to two NCAA Championship titles in 2008 and 2009. In his senior year, Buckner, who plays attacker, led the Trojans in scoring with 44 goals. He now plays for the Italian club Latina Pallanuoto.
Although Buckner enjoys being on the move, the hard part about traveling constantly can be packing. Between transatlantic flights and layovers, he has many hours to fill but only a small carry-on to squeeze his entertainment and necessities into. So what does Buckner bring? PCMag chatted with Buckner about what’s in his bag and what he wishes was in his bag.
PCMag: What’s the most exciting thing about going to the Olympics?
Shea Buckner: The Olympics is the pinnacle of competition in my sport. It is the single event that I have dedicated every moment of the last 17 years of my life to. The Olympics give my teammates and me the opportunity to prove that we are the best in the world, the opportunity to bring home the gold.
PCMag: How often do you travel? To where?
SB: I travel all the time. In my opinion, it’s one of the best parts of being a professional athlete. You name it, I’ve probably been there. For example, we recently got back from a three-week trip that landed us in Kazakhstan, Croatia, Turkey, and Montenegro. The one continent I haven’t traveled to is Africa.
PCMag: What’s your favorite sport to watch or play, other than water polo? Who is your favorite athlete?
SB: Basketball is, by far, my favorite sport to watch. I love the athleticism and skill that the players demonstrate. Like water polo, basketball requires a combination of individual skill and team work to be successful. Kobe Bryant is my favorite athlete. I love his intensity and leadership. With three seconds left in a game, I wouldn’t want anyone else to have the ball. Kobe is the man.
I played baseball for many years, so I’d have to say that it would be my favorite to play other than water polo.
PCMag: What’s in your bag?
SB: My bag is normally packed to the brim because we go on such long flights. My most-used piece of technology is my black iPhone 4S (32GB). I also travel with a Mophie Juice Pack Air battery extender. I currently use Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones for all of my listening needs. I usually bring along my Sony PSP in case my iPhone apps get boring. My iPad 2 (64GB) tops off the electronics in my bag. Some other necessities that I bring along include a book, sunglasses, my cross, my travel wallet, a journal, an iPhone charger, my passport, sandals ready to be worn on the plane, a Speedo and goggles in case my checked bag gets lost, and lastly, I always have a bottle of water close by.
PCMag: Are there any apps you use specifically to train? What other apps do you use, like, or love?
SB: I don’t really use any apps specifically for water polo, but I use all sorts of apps for other things. I have over 50 games and a combination of other utility apps for everyday use. The apps that get the most use on my phone would have to be Twitter and Instagram. I love both of them because they make managing my profiles much easier.
PCMag: What one piece of technology could you not be without? Why?
SB: My iPhone 4S (32GB). I use my phone for everything. These days, smartphones can do almost anything. It amazing how much technology you can hold in the palm of your hand.
PCMag: You’re very active on Twitter. How do you use it and why do you like it?
SB: I use Twitter to stay connected with my fans. It’s a great tool to update them with what’s going on in my life. I usually post sports-related tweets with an occasional personal tweet or insight. I also use Twitter to stay updated. It’s a great way to stay connected with the people that interest me. Be sure to follow me @sheabuckner on Twitter and @sheambuckner on Instagram.
PCMag: Do you use any cool waterproof technology?
SB: Yes! The LifeProof iPhone case is awesome. It is advertised as being completely waterproof and so far it has lived up to it. I took my iPhone in the pool the other day, with the case of course, and it performed well. It even allowed me to take great underwater photos.
PCMag: What gadgets are on your tech wish list?
SB: I consider myself a bit of an audiophile, so I’m always looking for the next best home-theatre speakers. Right now, I’m also interested in the GoPro camera. It seems like an awesome high-resolution camera that is also waterproof. I’m looking for a camera with high-res video and fast shutter speed. Tweet me @sheabuckner if you have any suggestions.
By Meredith Popolo, PCMag