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).  More USA's Kerri Walsh, Olympic MVP
What Others Wrote about Olympic 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."  More Shelda Bede, Adriana Behar, Misty May, Kerri Walsh,Holly Mc Peak,Elaine Youngs with the President of FIVB Ruben Acosta
USA Nets Athens Gold & Bronze Olympic Beach Volleyball Medals
Athens, Greece, August 24, 2004 - After not medalling in the first two women's Olympic Beach Volleyball competitions in Atlanta and Sydney, the United States captured two podium spots here Tuesday at the Athens 2004 Games. Fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine 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 Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson in 71 minutes to net the bronze medal before a capacity crowd of 10,000 at the Olympic Beach Centre. Top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh continued their amazing string of successes since the start of the Olympic qualifying process in 2003 as the young Americans posted a 21-17 and 21-11 in 43 minutes over second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil. 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.  More USA's Misty May serves with photographers behind
Women's Olympic Finale Features Top Two Tandems
Athens, Greece, August 24, 2004 - The teams of Misty May/Kerri Walsh of the United States and Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede of Brazil proved that the Beach Volleyball ranking process for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was correct as the top two-seeded teams will play for the gold medal here Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. Playing at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre that has proved to be the "hottest" ticket in town, the two teams will meet for the 21st-time on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as the top-seeded Americans hold a 13-7 edge in the series that dates make to 2001. Tuesday's finale is also rematch of the 2003 FIVB World Championships in Rio de Janeiro last October where May and Walsh scored a 21-19 and 21-19 win over Adriana and Shelda, who captured the worlds in 1999 and 2001. The two teams have meet three times this year with the Americans winning each time, including gold medal wins in Fortaleza (Brazil in March, 21-10 and 21-19) and in Gstaad (Switzerland in June, 26-28, 21-17 and 15-10). More
Site of Athens 2004 women's Olympic Beach Volleyball gold medal match
 
Results (7,600-plus responses)
Rulon Gardner   12%
Marion Jones   8%
Misty May/Kerri Walsh   43%
Men's Basketball   12%
Women's Soccer   24%

If you had one Olympic ticket, who would you go see?
 

The table on the left is on the United States Olympic team web site (www.usoc.org) as Olympic Beach Volleyball has proven to be a "hot" ticket in Athens. More

 

Brazil vs. USA for Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medal
Athens, Greece, August 23, 2004 - The rankings were proven to be correct as the top two-seeded teams for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games won as expected here Monday as the teams of Misty May/Kerri Walsh of the United States and Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede of Brazil will play for the gold medal. The top-seeded May and Walsh scored a 21-18 and 21-15 win in 41 minutes over fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs in an All-American semi-final. It was the ninth international meeting between the two teams with May and Walsh holding a 7-2 edge. Prior to the United States match, Adriana and Shelda helped erase the memory of their gold medal defeat at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games by scoring a 21-17 and 21-16 win over Cook and Nicole Sanderson in 42 minutes. The Brazilians lost to Cook and Kerri Pottharst in the Sydney finale. The Australia-United States bronze medal match will open Tuesday's action at 7:30 p.m. followed by the gold medal match at 9 p.m. at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre where a sold out crowd watched Monday action.  More Pic: Shelda Bede (left) and Adriana Behar of Brazil after semi-final win
 
Aussies & Brazilians Seek Spot opposite United States Women
Athens, Greece, August 23, 2004 - Two things are for sure entering tonight's "final four" Beach Volleyball matches at the Athens 2004 Games - there will be repeat finalist from the Sydney 2000 title contest and the United States will have a team playing for the Olympic gold medal for the first-time. The first semi-final at 7 p.m. here Monday features fifth-seeded Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson of Australia challenging second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil for the first berth in Wednesday's gold medal finale. The second semi is an All-American affair at 8 p.m. as top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh play fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs. The match will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two teams with May and Walsh winning 16 times
More Pic: USA celebration for Holly McPeak (left) and Elaine Youngs
Australia, Brazil & United States Compete For Athens Gold
Athens, Greece, August 22, 2004 – Two teams from the United States along with tandems from Australia and Brazil have advanced to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games “final four” after winning matches here Sunday. One of the matches will feature an all-American semi-final as top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh play fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs. The United States is now guaranteed it’s first-ever women’s Olympic Beach Volleyball medal. The other semi-final will feature three players that competed for the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal as second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil play fifth-seeded Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson of Australia. Cook and Kerri Pottharst defeated Adriana and Shelda for the Sydney 2000 gold medal.  More Pic: Brazil's Aussie Natalie Cook (left) against Lucilla Perrotta of Italy
 
Brazilians Advance, Eliminated
Athens, Greece, August 22, 2004 - This is not your typical Olympics for the women's Beach Volleyball teams from Brazil. That became clear here Sunday as the South American country only has a chance for one medal instead as their usual two as Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede out-lasted Brazilian rivals Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires 15-21, 21-13 and 15-13 in 59 minutes. Adriana and Shelda, the Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medallists, now play the winner of the match between Italy's Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta and fifth-seeded Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson in Monday's semi-finals. Cook won the 2000 gold medal with Kerri Pottharst.  More Pic: Brazil's Shelda Bede scrambles for the Mikasa
 
Beyond Australia, Brazil & United States
Athens, Greece, August 21, 2004 - The focus on the women's Beach Volleyball competition at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games has been on teams from Australia, Brazil and the United States, but don't forget about the three tandems from Canada, Germany and Italy, who could spoil a good "beach party" for those three countries. With no titles and two "open final fours" to their credit, the teams of Guylaine Dumont/Annie Martin of Canada, Stephanie Pohl/Okka Rau of Germany and Daniela Gattelli/Lucila Perrotta of Italy have quietly advanced to the "elite eight" as they are one win away from reaching the semi-finals of the sports "biggest" event. While the Canadians and Italians earned their quarter-finals berths Friday with upset wins over teams from Cuba and Germany, respectively, Pohl and Rau had the toughest opening match against a up-and-come team from host Greece.  More Pic: An Elated Okka Rau of Germany
 
Sold Out Stadium, Exciting Action Highlights Round of 16 Action
Athens, Greece, August 20, 2004 - The first of two days of opening elimination matches at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games featured "a little of everything" here Friday as the evening session attracted a sold crowd of more than 9,000 Beach Volleyball fans.  With upset victories by teams from Canada and Italy, the elimination of a gold medallist and the excitement of hometown favourites Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri playing before their adoring fans made the day's women's action memorable.  Karadssiou and Sfyri, Greece's No. 1 team in the Olympics dropped a 21-16 and 21-19 decision to Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires in the final's women's match Friday. Pires is a two-time Olympic medallist with a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games and a bronze in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. More Pic: Vasso Karadassiou of Greece in the sand
Women's Pairings Set
Athens, Greece, August 20, 2004 - Beach Volleyball fans around the world will be watching two women's Athens 2004 Olympic Games matches with interest here Friday as two of the top six-seeded teams face a challenge in the first-round of elimination play. The second of two opening women's matches will draw the most attention as one of the Olympic gold medallists from the Sydney 2000 Games will be eliminated Friday when Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst face each other at 3:30 p.m. with different partners. More Pic: Australia's Nicole Sanderson blocks
 
Germany Nets Second Seed Break-through
Athens, Greece, August 19, 2004 - The German women are now two-for-two in winning matches that help improve their chances for an Olympic Beach Volleyball medal as Suzanne Lahme and Danja Musch upset Anna Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires of Brazil here Thursday in their final pool play match. More Pic: Anna Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires of Brazil
 


Greece's Karadassiou & Sfyri Gain "Sweet 16"
Berth
Athens, Greece, August 18, 2004 - A victory before a sold out crowd at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre here Wednesday by Greece's Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri highlighted the play in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. With a 21-14 and 21-17 win in 47 minutes over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China, Karadassiou and Sfyri advanced to the Round of 16 as the No. 2 team from pool behind Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst of Australia. Lochowicz and Pottharst, who defeated the Karadassiou and Sfyri Monday, will use their first-place finish in Pool F to gain a sixth-seed in the "Sweet 16" when the single-elimination bracket starts Friday with the first of two days of opening round action. More Pic:
Big crowd at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre

Fi
nal Day Pool Play Excitement for Beach Players

Athens, Greece, August 17, 2004 - Three of the six women's pools in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be decided on the last day of preliminary competition as teams from Brazil, Cuba, the Czech Republic and the United States won here Tuesday for the second-time in as many matches.  Being played at the 10,000-seat Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre in the Faliro Coastal Zone, Wednesday's final preliminary rounds for Pools D, E and F will feature the teams of Natalie Cook/Nicole Sanderson and Summer Lochowicz/Kerri Pottharst of Australia, and Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs of the United States.  The teams McPeak/Youngs, Cook/Sanderson and Lochowicz/Pottharst will be attempting to secure the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds, respectively, in the 16-team elimination bracket that will be played Friday and Saturday. More  Pic: Summer Lochowicz (left) with Olympic gold medalist Kerri Pottharst
 

Australia Teams Post 2-0 Olympic Marks
Athens, Greece, August 16, 2004 - Led by Sydney 2000 gold medallists Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, three women's teams improved their Athens 2004 Olympic Beach Volleyball pool play to 2-0 with wins here Monday.  While Cook and Pottharst are not teamed together for the 2004 Games, the Aussie women continue to add to their Olympic winning streak that started with their bronze medal finish at the Atlanta 1996 Games followed by five-straight wins enroute to the Sydney gold.  Cook won her eighth-straight Olympic match as she and Nicole Sanderson rallied from a 14-10 deficit in the third-set of their match with Lu Wang and Wenhui You of China to take the Pool E match 21-19, 17-21 and 17-15.  Pottharst, who is play with Summer Lochowicz in the Athens Pool F, joined Cook with eight-straight Olympic wins Monday evening by disappointing Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri's hometown crowd by defeating the Greeks 21-15, 15-21 and 16-14. More  Pic: Holly McPeak of the United States in the sand

Top-seeded Americans & Brazilians Notch Olympic Beach Volleyball Wins Sunday

Athens, Greece, August 15, 2004 - All three of the top-seeded teams in the women's Athens 2004 Olympic Games competition won as expected here Sunday with the tandems of Misty May/Kerri Walsh, Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly/Sandra Pires posting pool victories.  With May returning after missing the last three SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events in Norway, France and Austria, the top-seeded American tandem scored a 21-9 and 21-16 win in 35 minutes over Chiaki Kusuhara and Ryo Tokuno of Japan in a Pool A Beach Volleyball match.  The victory was an "ideal" gift for Walsh, who celebrated her 26th birthday Sunday. May was returning to competition for the first-time in three weeks as she has been hampered since the first of June with an abdominal strain. More Pic: USA's Misty May (left) celebrates with Kerri Walsh
 

Wins for Czech Republic, Brazil & Cuba

Athens, Greece, August 15, 2004 – Teams from the Czech Republic, Brazil and Cuba won their opening women’s Athens 2004 Olympic Beach Volleyball matches here Sunday during the first two sessions at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.  Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova of the Czech Republic scored a 21-19 and 21-16 win in 45 minutes over Rebekka Kadijk and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands in the first to two Pool A matches Sunday. More Pic: Norway's Ingrid Torlen digs
 

Host Greece Snares Olympic Women’s Beach Volleyball Victory

Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 – Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri did not “disappoint” their hometown fans here Saturday in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games as the top women’s team from Greece defeated Hilda Gaxiola and Mayra Garcia of Mexico.  With their 21-17 and 21-13 win in 46 minutes over the Mexicans, Karadassiou and Sfyri now face Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst of Australia in their second of three pool play matches Monday at 10 p.m. More  Pic: Efi Sfyri congratulates Greek teammate Vasso Karadassiou after Olympic opening victory

 

 

Cook Follows Pottharst’s Olympic Beach Volleyball Winning Ways

Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 – Natalie Cook didn’t let her former Australia gold medal partner Kerri Pottharst get the better of her during the opening women’s Beach Volleyball pool play rounds here Saturday in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.  After Pottharst and Summer Lochowicz won the first women’s match of the 2004 Olympic Games by defeating a team from China Saturday morning, Cook and Nicole Sanderson posted a 21-16 and 21-12 win in 40 minutes over the Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria in the afternoon.  The Pool E win was Cook’s seventh-straight in Olympic competition to tie the mark established earlier in the day by Pottharst as she and Lochowicz scored a 21-18 and 21-18 win over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China in a 45-minute Pool F match.  The Cook and Pottharst Olympic streak includes their six match wins together, including bronze medal victory together at the 1996 Atlanta Games followed by five more wins enroute to their Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal finish More  Pic: Natalie Cook of Australia chases the Mikasa.

 

Pottharst Continues Olympic Beach Volleyball Winning Ways

Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 – With a 21-18 and 21-18 win over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China here Saturday morning, Australia’s Kerri Pottharst continued her winning ways in Olympic Beach Volleyball competition with Summer Lochowicz.  With the win in 45 minutes over the Chinese, Pottharst extended her personal Olympic streak to seven as she won the previous six matches with Natalie Cook.  The streak started with Pottharst and Cook’s bronze medal win at the 1996 Atlanta Games followed by five more wins enroute to the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal More  Pic: Australia's Summer Lochowicz on the dig

 

FIVB President Addresses Beach Volleyball Olympians

Athens, Greece, August 13, 2004 – With three women’s Olympic gold medallists among the overflowing in the crowd here Friday in the media centre conference room at the Faliro Coastal Zone Beach Volleyball Centre, Dr. Rubén Acosta addressed the 2004 Olympians before the start of the competition.  All three gold medallists are playing with different partners as each seek an Olympic medal for the third-straight time since the start of Beach Volleyball competition in 1996 in Atlanta where Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva of Brazil won the sport’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.  Pires returns for her third-straight Olympics with Ana Paula Connelly as the pair will be watching Saturday's opening women’s matches while 2000 Sydney Olympic gold medallists Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst take the sand with different partners. More Pic: FIVB President Ruben Acosta (red shirt) and Malu' Acosta with Control Committee members (from left to right) Jose' Casanova, Angelo Squeo and Angel Quintana during a visit to centre court

 

Women’s Athens 2004 Olympic Beach Volleyball Field Set

Athens, Greece, August 12, 2004 – The women’s field for the Olympic Beach Volleyball competition for the Athens 2004 Games is set with the players and their support staff participating in a Friday technical meeting before beginning play here Saturday.  Pool play will be featured the first six days of competition to determine the field for the 16-team single-elimination bracket.  The women’s gold medal match is set for August 24 at the 10,000-seat facility within the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex.  The only other “health” question for the third Olympic Beach Volleyball competition was the status of Misty May from the United States.  Winner of three SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events this season with Kerri Walsh, May participated in Thursday’s preliminary inquiry with her partner and the other American women’s team of Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs. More Pic: USA's Kerri Walsh (left) helps Misty May off the sand during June Gstaad, Switzerland stop
 

Defending champions headline opening day as schedule confirmed
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 04, 2004 - Three of the four Olympic champions from Sydney 2000 will feature on the opening day the 2004 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball competition in Athens following confirmation of the order of play from the International Volleyball Federation and ATHOC on Wednesday. More Competition schedule Olympic Draw Pic: Olympic gold medallists Dain Blanton (with mic), Kerri-Ann Pottharst (left) and Natalie Cook at the Drawing of Lots ceremony in Austria 
 

Greeks Turn Focus to Athens
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 31, 2004 - After more than three years of waiting, Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri can turn their entire focus on their preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games where they will be the top-seeded women's team from the host country in the 24-team Beach Volleyball competition. "Hopefully, we can post the same result as the Australian women when they hosted the world's best players in 2000 for the Sydney Games," said Karadassiou. "Obviously, we are different teams playing for different countries. But, we still desire the same result before our family, friends and fans." More Olympic Draw
 
FIVB officially announces teams for Athens
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 23, 2004 - As per FIVB-IOC Olympic Qualification regulations, the FIVB is pleased to announce the Official Olympic Ranking for the 24 men’s teams and the 24 women’s teams selected to participate in the Beach Volleyball Tournaments of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. More
Men's Official Olympic Rankings  Women's Official Olympic Rankings

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