London 2012

Press release

Walsh and May-Treanor seeking perfect finale

Kerri Walsh (left) and Misty May-Treanor are out to win their third Olympic gold at London 2012

A gold medal at Horse Guard’s Parade would provide the icing on the cake for a partnership that has been laden with gold since they first paired up in 2001. Gold medals from Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 meant they were the first beach volleyball pair to retain their title and they also have FIVB World Championship gold medals in their collections following victories in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

The past four years since Beijing have seen a great deal of change in both players’ lives. First they took two years off during which Walsh had two children with fellow US player Casey Jennings, while May-Treanor had to battle an Achilles injury and announced that she will retired after London 2012.

Since their return at the start of 2011 they have won four gold medals on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour and silver at the 2011 FIVB World Championships to signal that they will be as competitive as ever at London 2012.

“We’ve wanted this for two years now and we feel we have our best volleyball left in us and we just want to get better every single time we step on the court,” Walsh said.

Holding on too tightly

“I think Misty and I have been turning a corner in the last month and a half. Our last tournament was in Gstaad and we kicked into another gear and now we’re into the Olympics and this is our ultimate. We’re done after this, so we’re leaving it all out there.”

The win in Gstaad was their first World Tour gold medal of 2012 and came after they had won three silver medals earlier in the year. It was a reflection of their mixed form in the run-up to the Olympics, something that Walsh believes is firmly behind them.

“Earlier in the season we wanted it too much and we were holding on too tightly,” she said. “Then we figured out that is what was holding us back so we decided just to cherish every minute and I think that is reflected in our play.

“We understand what a special thing it is we are trying to achieve and we want to go out how I think we deserve to go out. We put our heart and souls into it every single day and we’re just going to go out and play.”

Walsh and May-Treanor’s performances on the court are one of the major reasons for changes to the way people view the sport of beach volleyball.

With 15,000 filling out the Horse Guard’s Parade venue in London three times a day, they hope that more and more people will be inspired by their, and their opponents performances to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the sport.

“It’s great to see where our sport has gone,” May-Treanor said. “I think it used to be one of those sports that people turned their heads at and walk by. Now we’ve got this venue here and all the tickets are sold out.

“That’s what you wanted to see, you wanted people to enjoy what we do and I think it has a lot to do with the hard work of the athletes out there, how we represent ourselves and our sport; it’s enticing to the fans.”

“What’s good here isn’t just that people are enjoying the atmosphere, but they are also really enjoying the sport,” Walsh added. “That is where the intensity is coming out, us athletes are feeding off it.

Traditional beach volleyball power

“Sometimes the bikinis get people there or the dancing girls and guys, but I really truly believe it is the competition is what is keeping people there.”

The USA has been one of the traditional powers of the beach volleyball circuit, though it wasn’t until Walsh and May-Treanor won gold in Athens that an American team topped the podium. At Atlanta 1996 Brazil’s Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva won gold, while four years later at Sydney 2000 Natalie Cook and Kerri-Ann Pottharst delighted their home crowd with a win in the gold medal match.

Now the USA have taken steps to develop the sport further and ensure that there will be US beach volleyball players following in the footsteps of Walsh and May-Treanor for many Olympic Games to come.

“Back home the NCAA has just incorporated women’s beach volleyball so there is another of opportunity for girls to play it,” Walsh said. “Then once colleges adopt it, it goes to high school and then it goes lower.”

“It keeps growing every year,” May-Treanor added. “It keeps growing and growing with all the players getting involved. In the United States there are young kids playing and the beaches are full all through the summer with young kids playing our sport and that is something you wouldn’t have seen years ago.

“Now on the tour there are a lot of young kids coming up through their federations and the sport is still growing worldwide.”

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

27.12.2012 14:44:20
Olympic Beach Volleyball review – What to expect in Rio?
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 27, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the success of beach volleyball at t... More...
26.12.2012 09:41:42
Olympic Volleyball review - Stunning finals highlight terrific tournament
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the outstanding volleyball competiti... More...
20.12.2012 17:11:37
Beach volleyball voted one of the highlights of London 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2012 – Beach volleyball has been named as one of the highlights of the 2012 London Olympic Games by More...
12.09.2012 18:24:41
Brink and Reckermann handling celebrity well
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 12, 2012 – With Europe’s first beach volleyball gold around their necks, Brink and Reckermann have become genuine sta... More...
28.08.2012 16:58:48
Walsh reflects on May-Treanor retirement, while her career moves ahead
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 28, 2012 – As three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh appears to have wrapped up her 2012 season, the FIVB looks back on... More...
24.08.2012 17:25:22
May-Treanor's retirement brings an end to the sport's greatest pairing
London, Great Britain, August 24, 2012 – Three weeks after the end of the London Olympics, the FIVB reflects on the amazing team of Misty May-Treanor ... More...
22.08.2012 09:57:22
Russia sets the bar high, but expect big changes from Brazil and USA, says Tom Hoff
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22, 2012 - In a final retrospective on the London Olympics, former USA captain Tom Hoff talks about the Russian players ... More...
21.08.2012 14:57:51
Olympic beach volleyball sand distributed
London, Great Britain, August 20, 2012 - Over 4,000 tons of sand has been donated by The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) from the temporary b... More...
12.08.2012 18:31:48
Russia come from behind to win Olympic title after 32 years, Brazil and Italy get silver and bronze
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – The last day of action of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court provided all fans with the right cli... More...
12.08.2012 18:30:00
Brazilian legend Giba calls time on career
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – Brazil captain and legend Giba has called time on his 20-year international career after the heart-breaking 3... More...