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Monday, January 22, 2018

Kerri Walsh: We’re not the favorites to win the gold medal, yet

Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor have teamed to win the gold medal in beach volleyball at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. LBS spoke with Walsh recently, who is working with P&G on their “Thank you, Mom” campaign (like their Facebook page and they will donate $1 to the P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund), about her chances at winning a third straight gold medal. I asked her if she considers her team the favorites to win the gold medal.

“No, I don’t think we should be considered the favorite because of ’08 and ’04,” Walsh said. “That’s a long time ago, and the sport has evolved and gotten so much better. Last year we finished No. 2 in the world. We’re not happy with that. Between now and the time London rolls around, our goal is to secure the No. 1 seed.”

Even though the Olympics changed its uniform policy and will no longer require female beach volleyball players to wear bikinis, Walsh told LBS she’s planning to stick with the same uniform she has been wearing.

“This rule isn’t going to affect my uniform. I play in a bikini for a reason — because it’s the most functional, and that’s why it’s the most comfortable. When it’s 90 degrees out and you’re sandy and sweaty, you don’t want to be wearing a lot of clothes,” she explained. “That being said, I think this is a great rule and I love that they’re embracing other people’s religions and cultures.

“I don’t want any door closed to someone just because of a uniform. I want the sport to grow and to become as great as it can be, and for that to happen, we need everyone to be included.”

With the Games only a few months away, I asked how much different her training becomes. She said her training will begin to change.

“We’re in preseason mode right now, but now we’re transitioning with less weight and more reps for our weight lifting to work on our quickness and speed. We’re constantly adjusting and trying to balance our regimen. We’re doing pilates along with being on the beach and doing weight training. We’re also doing sports psychology and working on our neuro-agility. We’re leaving no stone unturned and, because of it, we know we’re going to be a really great team this summer.”

Even though she’s been playing professionally for over 10 years, and she’s participated in three Olympics, Walsh says being part of the Summer Games is still special.

“It will never be ‘been there, done that,” she said. “I get butterflies every time I step on the beach — I want to become the best athlete I can become. Right now, training with Misty (May-Treanor) is really fun because we’re challenging ourselves every day.”

Once again, you can like the “Thank you, Mom” campaign on Facebook and they will donate $1 to the P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund.

Photo Credit: CSPA via US PRESSWIRE

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