Women's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 24 August 2004

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What Others Wrote about Beach Volleyball
Here is a sampling of items take from media coverage of the Beach Volleyball competition at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Brian Mahoney, Associated Press Writer on www.yahoo.com

"The festive atmosphere at the venue, which includes blaring music, dancing and an attractive beach crowd, is one of the reasons that beach volleyball will go down as one of the stars of the Athens Games."

By Deborah Charles, Reuters

"American Misty May sprinkled her mother's ashes over the beach volleyball court Tuesday after winning the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. May's mother, her biggest fan, died two years ago and May had always wanted her there when she and team mate Kerri Walsh went for gold, beating Brazil in the final. "Everybody else's family is here, why couldn't I bring my family?" said May when asked why she sprinkled the ashes. May, who had an angel with her mother's initials tattooed onto her left shoulder after her mother died of cancer, said her father brought the ashes with him to Athens."

Michael Wilbon, Washington Post/ESPN's PTI

"Perhaps you've noticed while watching the Olympics on television that there are empty seats here and there, like thousands of them at gymnastics, which is usually overrun with people, and thousands of them at boxing and at women's basketball games. Well, let me tell you about a place where there aren't any empty seats, where folks are dancing in the aisles, where the biggest party in Athens is taking place every night, beginning sharply at 7. Beach volleyball. If you're in search of tension, judges' scores, angry crowds, runners heaving all over the place, competitors seized by nerves, or anorexic little waifs who ought to be strapped down and fed cheeseburgers intravenously, then do not under any circumstances come to see beach volleyball. This is the place where they stop the game to introduce someone dressed as Spider-Man to the sound of Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray!" This is the place where players dare not hit a serve until the music stops, where people do the wave in slow motion. It's the place that sits on a little patch of land right off the Aegean Sea, where if you're sitting in just the right place you can see the lights from cruise ships leaving for the next port in contrast with the pink sky just after sundown. This is the place with decidedly healthy women competing -- oh, yes -- and where 12 orange bikini-wearing dancers called the "Fun Girls" do the conga and a whole lot of other stuff between matches. It's the venue filled on this particular night mostly by Brazilians and Australians, undoubtedly the two most party-prone peoples on the face of the earth, singing and waving flags and it looks like -- oooh -- taking off their clothes!"

Karen Crouse, Palm Beach Post

"You go to karaoke night and a match breaks out. That's the best way to describe beach volleyball at these Summer Olympics. People were really digging it Tuesday when the No. 1 women's team of Americans Misty May and Kerri Walsh faced Brazilians Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar for the gold medal. The fans were almost as entertaining as the match. They sang a lot of songs, did a lot of dances; they swayed like people in religious trances. The Brazilians carried on like it was Carnival; the Americans as if it was the Fourth of July. Then there were the Greeks, who waved their flags in the air just because they were there. With all due respect to ancient Olympia, the Beach Volleyball Centre that's a serve's arc from the Aegean Sea best exudes the Olympic ideal."

Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor

" If Pierre de Coubertin went down to the beach today, he'd be in for a big surprise.
The founder of the modern Olympic movement was as fond of spectacle as the next man. But at the beach volleyball stadium here, the Games' showbiz aspects are reaching new heights. To start with, there are cheerleading beauties, flown in to gyrate on the touchline before, during, and after every match. Then there is the music: While Coubertin favored massed bands and national anthems, beach volleyball pipes in crowd favorites, such as KC & the Sunshine Band grunting "that's the way ... uh huh ... I like it." But he would have to admit that the event - part beach party, part rock concert - has injected welcome energy into Athens, where athletes in more decorous sports have often been competing in front of empty stands. Buoyed by its growing legions of young fans, beach volleyball is one of the few events to sell out night after night, regardless of whether or not a Greek team is playing."