It’s true. Regardless of the outcome of the Olympic women’s beach volleyball final tonight, the U.S. will take home gold and silver.
In case you missed yesterday’s action, Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy stunned the world by rallying to win the final two sets against Brazil’s top-ranked Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva, who hadn’t lost a set in London. Meanwhile, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings outlasted a tough Chinese team in one of the best-played matches of the Olympic tournament.
Walsh-Jennings and May-Treanor have long been the shining stars of beach volleyball. Since they are playing for an unprecedented three straight gold medals in the sport, and May-Treanor has announced that this will be her last match, today’s gold medal match marks the end of an era.
Over the past few years, STACK has had the privilege of interviewing this most dynamic of duos several times. Here’s a look back at their historic career along with exclusive STACK videos.
A Look Back
2000: Volleyball destiny unfolds as May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings team up. Rather than taking the traditional route and tackling the APV tour, the two spend the 2001 and 2002 seasons gaining experience on the international FIVB tour.
2002: May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings win their first FIVB tour championship.
2003: The team signs with the AV and receives “Team of the Year” honors after an undefeated season.
How the Duo Communicates to Win
2004: Misty and Kerri win their first gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics by defeating Brazil in the championship match.
The Team’s Strongest Attribute
2008: May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings repeat as Olympic gold medalists in Beijing. At the AVP Shootout in Cincinnati, their 112-match winning streak is broken by fellow 2008 Olympians Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs. May-Treanor ruptures her Achilles tendon while performing on Dancing With the Stars and has to take a hiatus from professional volleyball for a year.
2010: Walsh-Jennings and May-Treanor team up again to begin training for their third Olympic gold.
Whom will you root for tonight? Let us know by commenting below! Catch the action live online at 4 p.m. EDT, or watch the match tonight in prime time on NBC.