Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball's dynamic duo, following separate paths
Beach volleyball officially became an Olympic sport in 1996, and in those six games Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor won half of the gold medals - they finished first in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
May-Treanor first competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and finished fifth with partner Holly McPeak. In search of better results on future games, May-Treanor was looking for a new partner whom she had already faced in high school. Both Walsh and May-Treanor grew up playing volleyball in California, and the close-knit volleyball community kept the two familiar with each other's journey through the sport.
With three Olympic experiences, the dynamic duo of beach volleyball was practically unbeatable and showed no signs of slowing down until May-Treanor's resignation.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (left) celebrate winning the gold medal after beating April Ross and Jennifer Kessy (USA) in the women's beach volleyball gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
Which Olympic Games did you last take part in?
Walsh and May-Treanor participated in three Olympic Games together - Athens, Beijing and London. The last time the couple competed in the Games together was at the 2012 Olympics, and they took home their third consecutive gold medal.
In 2016, Walsh teamed up with April Ross, qualified for the Rio Games and won a bronze medal in Brazil.
How many Olympic gold medals have you won in your career?
Both Walsh and May-Treanor have three gold medals together, but Walsh has an additional bronze medal when she competed with another partner in 2016. At their first Olympic Games together in 2004, the couple won gold in women's beach volleyball without losing a set in seven games. They continued their unbeaten streak through Beijing before ending in the 2012 preliminary round in Austria.
How many world records do you hold?
As a couple, Walsh and May-Treanor are the first beach volleyball players to win gold at three consecutive Olympic Games. Walsh is also in the Guinness Book of Records for the most consecutive Olympic beach volleyball games won by an individual (woman) at 22 between Athens 2004 and Rio 2016.
Individually, Walsh is internationally at the top of his career in both wins (135) and income (2,656,635 US dollars) in beach volleyball. In second place behind her is May-Treanor with 112 wins and $ 2,144,383 in profit. As a couple, their 104 wins - 56 more than the closest team - and a purse of $ 3,658,015 also take the lead.
May-Treanor retired after the 2012 Olympics and was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Beach volleyball silver medalists Jennifer Kessy and April Ross (left) and gold medalists Missy May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings (right) listen to the US national anthem at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. When her longtime partner Misty May-Treanor retired after the London Games, Walsh Jennings checked the net to get Ross off the team they defeated in the gold medal match.
What are you doing right now?
While Walsh says she may aim for another Olympic appearance in 2024, she is now focused on the company she and her husband Casey Jennings started, page 1440. The two beach volleyball players wanted to bring their expertise and create a program that made the game grows, and p1440 includes athlete mentoring programs, expert interviews and personal coaching from the Olympic champion herself. Walsh also has three children with Jennings.
Since retiring, May-Treanor has stayed relatively out of the spotlight. The three-time gold medalist is a mother of three and went back to school for a masters degree. She also got a few gigs in college volleyball - including as Director of Volleyball Operations at her alma mater, Long Beach College. Most recently she joined the broadcast team for the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour.
What else have you achieved in your respective sport?
Both May-Treanor and Walsh individually dominated the indoor volleyball game before going to the games. At Stanford, Walsh won the national title in 1996 and 1997 and was named First Team All-American every four years. May-Treanor led an undefeated Long Beach State team to the 1998 National Championship and that same year was named Honda-Broderick NCAA Athlete of the Year.
Their international success was not limited to the Olympic Games. Walsh and May-Treanor won three consecutive FIVB World Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, the two won 112 games in a row and 19 tournaments in a row, with the series of Walsh and May-Treanor taking second place in a. AVP event ended in 2009.
Where can you follow them?
Walsh can be found on Instagram @kerrileewalsh and on Twitter @kerrileewalsh. May-Treanor can be found on Instagram @mistymayvb and on Twitter @MistyMayTreanor.
Meet Other Olympic Legends:
Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Misty May and Kerri Walsh: Where Are The Olympics Volleyball Stars Now?
In this article:
Games in Tokyo
Kerri Walsh Jennings
American beach volleyball player
American beach volleyball player
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