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

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USA's Walsh Olympic Beach Volleyball Women's Most Valuable Player
Athens, Greece, August 27, 2004 - After teaming with Misty May to win the United States' first women Olympic Beach Volleyball gold medal, Kerri Walsh has been named the most valuable player of the Athens 2004 Games in balloting conducted by the FIVB with members of the print and electronic media covering the event at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.

Walsh, who celebrated her 26th birthday on the day (August 15) of her first match in Athens with May, was named on all 48 ballots received as one of the top four players in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. She received 40 first-place votes, two seconds and six thirds to finish with 182 out of 192 total possible points.

May was second in the voting with 102 points with eight first-place votes, 22 second places and two thirds. Other players receiving votes were Shelda Bede of Brazil (54 total points), Adriana Behar of Brazil (34), Holly McPeak of the United States (26), Natalie Cook of Australia (18), Elaine Youngs of the United States (10) and Nicole Sanderson of Australia (2).

Player Country Ballots Named 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Points
Kerri Walsh United States 48 40 6 2 0 182
Misty May United States 32 8 22 2 0 102
Shelda Bede Brazil 26 0 6 14 8 54
Adriana Behar Brazil 18 0 4 8 6 34
Holly McPeak United States 16 0 0 10 6 26
Natalie Cook Australia 14 0 2 0 12 18
Elaine Youngs United States 6 0 0 4 2 10
Nicole Sanderson Australia 2 0 0 0 2 2

The top-seeded Walsh and May posted a 21-17 and 21-11 victory in 43 minutes over second-seeded Adriana and Shelda here Tuesday before another sell-out crowd with more than 500 members of the media covering the sport since the start of the competition August 14.

In the past two years, May and Walsh have won nine of 13 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events with an 88-6 international match mark. After not medalling in the first two women's Olympic Beach Volleyball competitions in the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Games, the United States captured two podium spots here Tuesday at the Athens 2004 Games.

Fourth-seeded McPeak and Youngs were the first American team to win a Beach Volleyball medal match as they scored a 21-18, 15-21 and 15-9 win over fifth-seeded Cook and Sanderson in 71 minutes to net the bronze medal.

With the bronze medal win, McPeak and Youngs denied Cook her third Olympic medal as she won the bronze in 1996 in Atlanta and the gold in 2000 at Sydney with Kerri Pottharst. The gold medal win by May and Walsh also denied the Brazilians the top spot on the podium for the second-straight Olympics as Adriana and Shelda dropped the Sydney 2000 gold medal match to Cook and Pottharst.

The win was the seventh-straight by May and Walsh over the Brazilians as they improved their all-time series with Adriana and Shelda to 14-7. Tuesday's meeting was the 11th-time that the two teams have played for a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour title and May and Walsh have won eight times.