Tuesday, 30 May 2023

International Volleyball

Sarah Pavan is far from retired. The Canadian Olympian is chasing peace

Sarah Pavan is far from retired. The Canadian Olympian is chasing peace

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. — Sarah Pavan is not retired.

Funny thing, though, is that she’s heard rumors that she is, despite her never so much as uttering the word out loud for anyone to hear. She doesn’t appreciate those rumors, both because they are patently untrue and that, well, where did they come from, anyway?

“I don’t appreciate they got started,” she said on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. “I’m not happy about that. So I will make sure that if and when that time comes, it will be the way that I want and I will be the one to announce it.”

It’s not that she hasn’t thought about the prospect of retiring. Her own volleyball mortality has been brought to the forefront of her mind of late, ushered there by the shocking nature in which the sport simply moved on as one of its all-time greats, April Ross, quietly faded into the background. Ross, too, has not made any formal announcement regarding her career. She could very well pick up where she left off as easily as she could move on, coaching at Concordia as the most overqualified graduate assistant in the country, helping Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner, Olympic gold medal in hand.

What shocked Pavan was how seamlessly the sport just sort of went about its business, as if the third winningest player in history hadn’t been there at all.

“In recent years I have seen so many of the greats step away. I think the moment that really made me understand that was when April stopped,” Pavan said. “Here’s somebody who is among the best to have ever played, internationally and AVP, and she started out last season, played a couple tournaments and stopped. Nobody talked about her. Here I am, being like, ‘Wait wait wait! She did some great things. We can’t just let her fade out. That’s not how this should go.’

“When I saw that happening, I was like ‘You can give everything to this sport, you can win everything in this sport, but when you stop, you might not get a goodbye.’ Now, when I’m kind of floating here, it’s like ‘OK, yeah, that’s how it is.’ It puts it in perspective that this is what it will be like when it’s officially done so I’m going to live this up, I’m going to love every chance I have to compete in a tournament, I’m going to compete and compete hard, I’m going to be me and just enjoy whatever opportunity I have because when…

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