Thursday, August 23, 2012

misty may-treanor & kerri walsh jennings, olympic partners.

misty may-treanor & kerri walsh jennings,
teammates for eleven years —
the best women's beach volleyball team of all time,
two-time olympic champions in athens & beijing —
executed a three-peat in london,
capturing their third consecutive gold medal in an all-american final
against up-&-comers jennifer kessy & april ross.

for misty & kerri, the golden moment
was another type of final, too —
their last match together as a team.

35yo misty may-treanor, the most decorated female beach volleyball player ever,
is retiring as a player from the sport
in order to start a family with her athlete husband.

the duo split as a team following the 2008 olympics
so that now-33yo kerri could start a family with her athlete husband —
the couple now has sons joseph, 3yo, & sundance, 2.

meanwhile, misty tore her left achilles tendon
& missed a year of play for recuperation.

but the pair reunited in 2011 to come to the olympics.
their journey wasn't easy —
kessy & ross actually came to the games
ranked higher on the fivb world tour,
& misty & kerri sought help from a sports psychologist
in order to reconnect better as partners.

it worked.

in the sand of horse guards parade, misty & kerri
went where no woman has gone before:
a trio of olympic medals in women's beach volleyball. [all gold, too.]
& a winning streak of 21 consecutive olympic matches & a 42-1 winning set record.

"the first two medals, i think, were more volleyball,"
says misty. "this was so much more about the friendship.
the togetherness. the journey.
volleyball was just a small part of it."

kerri intends to continue playing, with a new, as yet unnamed partner,
& to pursue a fourth gold in rio in 2016.
while motherhood is misty's reason for retirement,
it's a large part of kerri's purpose for continuing to indulge her passion.

"i want this so badly, & my children just make me want it even more,"
says kerri. "i want to make them proud. i want to do it as a mom.
i'm so inspired, so determined to be the best i can be
so i can be a great example for them."

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