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Misty May Treanor, Kerri Walsh Reign Over Volleyball

Only the lucky few get to retire on top. Add Olympic beach volleyball partners Misty May Treanor and Keri Walsh to that list.

In their final match before retiring after 11 years of excellence, the American tandem handled fellow Team USA players Jennifer Kessy and April Ross to extend their Olympic record to 21-0 and win their third gold medal in a row.

May-Treanor said she will retire from international play, perhaps to coach and definitely to spend time with her husband, Matt, a catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“This is my last match,” May-Treanor said. “Beach volleyball’s not going to be my career anymore. It’s time for me to be a wife. I want to be a mom and share time with my family. All of us as athletes sacrifice more on the family end than people realize. And it’s getting back to that. My mind says it’s time. My body says it’s time. And it’s the right time.”

Together, Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor are quite right. They continued their reign as champions of the beach.

“I’m just really proud to finish the journey with Misty how we finished it,” Walsh Jennings said. “It’s been 11 years of really, really fun and crazy times. She’s the best there ever has been. To have been with her so long and call her a dear, dear friend and a sister now is the greatest gift ever. I’m glad she went out on top.”

Dominating the sport for three Olympiads, Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor have won every match they’ve ever played at the Summer Games and lost just one of 43 sets.

No one had ever won even two beach volleyball gold medals before the Americans won their second straight in Beijing.

No woman had ever won three Olympic beach volleyball medals of any kind.

“I know how hard it is to win one tournament. And the amount of tournaments they’ve won is crazy,” Kessy said. “For them to do it for years and years and to be on top is just really impressive. We learn a lot from them.”

 

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