On Monday, the first ever British women's team to feature in a Games will take to the water against Russia, with Leighton captaining the side.
They also face Italy and Australia in the group stage at the Water Polo Arena in Olympic Park, and Rotherham's Leighton is confident her side can make a lasting impression on the watching public.
"Anyone here can win gold or come last, that is how close the group is which is great and it's going to be exciting," said the 30-year-old centre forward.
"With the crowd behind us anything is possible, but all of the games are going to be tough so we just want to be competitive and make sure we come out having left nothing on the side, and having given everything we can in the water.
"It is about time we got to show water polo for what it really is, and how exciting and fun a game it is.
"We hope there will be a legacy and this won't be the last time you see a men and women's water polo team in the Games.
"Hopefully in Rio and beyond you will see us there."