With the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place later this month, Rant Sports is shining the spotlight on some of the amazing athletes who will be representing the United States in London this year.
Today, we take a look at the duo that has been dubbed the best women’s beach volleyball team of all time, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, a pair that brought beach volleyball into the national spotlight during their last two Olympics runs.
It will be the fourth Olympic Games for each of them, and their third as a team, and the two will be attempting to do something never before done in beach volleyball: capture their third Olympic gold.
The two first paired up in 2001 after each of them failed to medal in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, beginning a run that would see the two win 112 straight games and an unprecedented 2 Olympic gold medals.
In their first Olympics as a team, the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, May and Walsh tore through the competition, never losing a game to capture their first gold medal.
The two women were back at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, where they would become the first beach volleyball team to ever win two gold medals.
Now, it’s four years later and life has changed quite a bit for both Walsh and May-Treanor.
Since 2008, Walsh has gotten married to fellow professional beach volleyball player, Casey Jennings. Just 9 months after winning her second gold, Walsh gave birth to her first son. One year later, the couple welcomed another baby boy into their lives. A new mother, Walsh continued to compete in domestic and international competitions, and never for one second doubted that she would be back in the Olympic Games.
That wasn’t the case, however, for Misty May-Treanor. Shortly after the 2008 Olympic Games, Treanor participated on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars until a devastating tear to her achilles tendon would force her off the show, and even worse, force her to sit out of beach volleyball competitions for the next 18 months.
But eventually, she found her way back to the game and back to Walsh, and now the two are headed back to London for what will most likely be their final competition as a team. May-Treanor, who will turn 35 in London, has stated that this will be her final competition.
For the first time ever, the pair will is not favorite to win the gold, but they aren’t fair behind. The two will enter the Olympic Games ranked No. 3 in the world, behind the Brazilian team of Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca and the Chinese team of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.
Regardless, no one should beat against Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. As they prepare to make a run for their unprecedented third Olympic gold medal in what will most likely be their last hurrah as a team, all eyes will be on the two women who made women’s beach volleyball the sport that it is today.
Join us next time as we preview another of the amazing athlete who will be competing for Team USA in London this month.