"I've been good. I'm in Los Angeles right now, hanging out, and getting through everything," he said. "I've been training and figuring things out. The future is pretty unclear. I try to stay positive and I try to stay connected to my family and my teammates as much as I can."
He is drawn to the sport of water polo due to the competition aspect of it. "I am really competitive," he admitted. "I've played water polo for a really long time and it's a great opportunity to be able to represent my country and the schools that I went to. I am also drawn to the water polo family and community that we have. Our community is strong and tight-knit. It's a really cool community."
Each day, he is motivated by his drive to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games. "I want to make my mom and a lot of the family members happy, and my close friends proud," he said. "I want to represent our country in a really positive way. I want to become better every day, not just as a water polo player, but as a person overall."
Hooper won a gold medal as part of the USA men's water polo team at the 2019 Pan American Games that took place last summer in Lima, Peru.
On being a water polo player in the digital age, he said, "It's interesting. Everyone is training on their own, and differently. The Olympic Games are postponed, but we came together as a community. It's going to be a tough situation and a tough journey to get back to next year. It's a weird ride, but we are all positive in this digital age. We are able to do workout sessions via Zoom."
For young and aspiring water polo players, Hooper said, "You need to work hard, of course. You need to have a lot of confidence in yourself, your abilities, and the people that support you. Keep a tight circle of people around you that want the best for you. Role models and positive influences help more than you can imagine. That's a big thing for me. Don't doubt yourself, be confident. Learn quickly on the go, but don't be afraid to make mistakes. The way you deal with adversity will ultimately shape who you are."
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, Hooper said, "Learning the new world."
On the best advice he was ever given, Hooper said, "Have confidence in your abilities and confidence in yourself to overcome adversity. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, and are going to uplift you and challenge you to be better."
This past January, the USA water polo team beat the Greek water polo team in a friendly international competition that was held in Italy. "That was a great tournament overall. It was awesome to do so well overseas," he said.
He defined the word success as being "the best version of yourself" and "being comfortable in your own skin."
For his fans and supporters, Hooper concluded, "Thank you for riding with me and for always supporting and believing in Team USA, and the goals that we have set for ourselves. It is great to have such amazing and engaged fans to help us along the way."
To learn more about American water polo player Johnny Hooper, follow him on Instagram.
For more information on USA Water Polo, visit their official website.