The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team was in the spotlight during the London Olympics, but only because of their sizzling personalities and stunning looks, rather than their athletic prowess. Now, after a few months of learning to play the sport, the 20-year-olds landed on the podium again, winning gold at the world championships in Moscow. The extra time off since the 2012 Olympics may have contributed to the U.S.’s victory, but it was their ability to adjust to new challenges that got them the win.
So, did you see the Olympics? And if so, which event did you watch? The United States’ women’s beach volleyball team was a bit of a surprise to many people, including their opponents, since they weren’t considered the favorite going into the games.
The American pair won their third gold of the Games, following on from their success in both the men’s and women’s competitions during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
TOKYO, Japan — April Ross earned the Olympic gold medal to complete her set, and she had the ideal person to put it around her neck as she stood on the top step of the platform at the Shiokaze Park beach volleyball stadium on Friday: teammate Alix Klineman.
Ross, who got her third Olympic medal from her third Olympic partner after a masked IOC official delivered it on a tray due to pandemic procedures, stated, “I know it was a result of COVID, but it really feels very wonderful when you’re up there.”
Ross, who won silver in London and bronze in Rio de Janeiro, added, “We get to give the medals to each other.” “I was thinking to myself, ‘Thank you, Alix.’”
The Americans defeated Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy of Australia 21-15, 21-16 in 43 minutes, despite playing in temperatures of 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) on the beach, which the US TV coverage claimed felt like 129 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius).
Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland defeated Latvia in straight sets in the bronze-medal match earlier Friday.
While speaking with reporters, Klineman, a first-time Olympian, never let go of her new trophy. She said she had seen champions of individual sports wear their medals around their necks and was thrilled when she realized she could do the same for Ross after working together for four years to get to the Olympics and then winning it all.
“I think we’ve both simply tried to support each other and contribute as much as we can to this relationship,” she added. “As a result, it was a really unique experience.”
Artacho del Solar described the four-year qualifying procedure as a struggle that took five years due to the epidemic.
“Nothing was simple. We weren’t given them “she said
In this instance, it’s actually the case.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite moments,” she added. “It’s wonderful to give T this medal, knowing how much it meant to us, and to have that lovely moment. Regardless of why we’re doing it, it’s really a pretty lovely touch.”
Australia’s first beach volleyball medal came in 2000, when Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst won gold on Bondi Beach. The Americans, who tied for first place in the Olympic qualifying points race and dropped just one set in seven matches in Tokyo, were never really close.
The opening set took Klineman and Ross 20 minutes to win. They were down 2-0 in the second quarter before rallying with a 10-point run.
The shouts of “U-S-A!” from those wearing red, white, and blue drowned out the cries of “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!” from the Australians in their brilliant yellow jerseys. Shiokaze Park saw its largest audience ever, with approximately 60 people filling the temporary stadium’s 9,600 seats.
Because there were so few people in the audience, the applause seemed “more personal,” according to Ross. Melissa Humana-Paredes, a Canadian player, took time after a match earlier this week to thank her fans, naming each one by name.
“All we can say is that we’re glad the Olympics occurred,” Ross remarked. “Whatever vibe there was, we were certainly embracing it. Hearing our group begin shouting ‘U-S-A!’ in response to the Aussie cheer meant a lot to me. It seemed more personal, yet the seriousness of the contest and its magnitude remained.”
Before Artacho del Solar served into the net to clinch the U.S. win, Australia had survived three championship points. After a long hug, Klineman went to the bench to soak herself in water, and the two then posed with an American flag in the stands.
Ross, who played alongside Jen Kessy in 2012 and Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2016, said, “I still can’t comprehend how everything turned out the way it did.” “Going out there to attempt to win a gold medal is like something out of a fairy tale. And the fact that it really occurred is both remarkable and strange.”
In the third-place match, the Swiss defeated Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia 21-19, 21-15.
Graudina was the first woman to qualify for the Olympics after rising through the ranks of the NCAA beach volleyball program, which began in 2012. She was the 2019 national player of the year at Southern California and led the Trojans to the 2021 national title.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Alix and April win gold?
Yes, they did.
How many Olympics has April Ross been in?
April Ross has been in two Olympics.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- alix klineman
- april ross
- kerri walsh jennings
- is volleyball an olympic sport
- usa women’s olympic beach volleyball team