Monday, 27 March 2023

International Volleyball

Kerri Walsh Jennings and her Olympic 2024 dream

Kerri Walsh Jennings and her Olympic 2024 dream

Paris has long been known as a city that inspires people to dream and even dares them to take a chance in life. Whether that’s down to the stirring sight of the horse chestnut trees that line the Champs-Élysées, the serenity you get from being at the top of Sacré-Cœur, or the sense of awe you get from the iconic sight of the Eiffel Tower; this city will give you boundless energy and a drive to do something incredible of your own.

But, for all the irresistible allure of Paris and the inspiration it provides, will it be enough for 44-year-old Kerri Welsh Jennings to win an Olympic gold medal in 2024 when the Games are hosted in France’s capital? Before we answer that, let’s go back a few steps.

Who is Kerri Walsh Jennings?

If you needed a reminder, Kerri Walsh Jennings is the most successful women’s beach volleyball player of all time. In fact, if you said that this titan of volleyball has enjoyed an astonishing and glittering career, you may be at risk of doing Walsh Jennings an unforgivable disservice as the American has won gold at three consecutive Olympics between 2004 and 2012 while winning a bronze in 2016 in Brazil.

On top of that, Walsh Jennings has won 135 tournaments that she has played both domestically and internationally. All in all, it has been a breathtaking display of consistent dominance that has spanned the better part of two decades. In many ways, you could say that the only real career disappointment came after missing out on qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo while partnered with Brooke Sweat. Many people thought that this would signal the end of Walsh Jennings’ medal-laden career but tellingly, there was never any retirement announcement forthcoming. Instead, Walsh Jennings swapped Manhattan Beach for Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and for all intents and purposes, slipped out of sight. With this being the case, many fans and pundits felt it went without saying that the 44-year-old had retired. Not quite.

The comeback queen?

Incredibly, Walsh Jenning has stated that she wants to compete at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and intends to team up with former Stanford teammate Logan Tom who is now 41 – three years younger than Jennings. According to Jennings, convincing Tom to join her on this…

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