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19
I doubt it
Sandra Pires of Brazil won
gold in the first year for
beach volleyball as an
Olympic sport in 1996. She
also won bronze in 2000
and came fifth in 2004.
“Being Brazilian, the toughest match for me
was the semifinal between Brazil’s Juliana
and Larissa and USA’s Kessy and Ross. After
winning the first set and seeming to be in
control, the Americans changed tactics and
started serving only to Larissa, which seldom
happens. Before you knew it, the Americans
were back in the match. In the end they made
fewer mistakes and Juliana and Larissa didn’t
have an answer for them this time.
“I thought about Misty May-Treanor and Kerri
Walsh and I cried a lot because I understand
the talent, commitment, sacrifice, passion,
love of the sport, practice, mental strength,
and emotional strength that it takes for a
person to compete at this level. If anyone
lived up to the theme of this year’s London
2012 Olympic Games, to ‘Inspire a Generation’,
it would be this great American team.
“The atmosphere in London was so terrific,
and for Rio 2016 we have a lot of work to do
to compete with the memory people have of
Horse Guards Parade. The sand was perfect
and the stadium was magnificent, the music
was great and the spectators, oh my,
I couldn’t believe how many thousands more
people were here for every single session in
the biggest stadium in Olympic history.”