Misty May-Treanor on Kerri Walsh Jennings: 'I will never leave her side'

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings swept fellow Americans in two sets on Wednesday to earn their third straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball. They talk about the intense match, how it felt to be facing another American team, and the emotional medal ceremony.

 

The USA win at beach volleyball Wednesday night at the London Olympics marked the end of a legacy, but not of the enduring friendship between Misty May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings. Still, when the pair stood on the podium to accept the gold together, they knew it was for the last time. May-Treanor, who has played with Walsh Jennings for over a decade, will be retiring.

It was the third time May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings stood side-by-side to accept gold. The win in London wraps up a Olympic career that has led to a perfect record of 21 wins and no losses, with the pair losing only one set in all of their Olympic competitions. “We played the toughest competition in the world and we’ve withstood every challenge to be hanging out on top,” Walsh Jennings told TODAY's Matt Lauer.  
 
Even though Wednesday was the last time the world will see the two spike on the sand, their partnership is far from over. May-Treanor, who said she's ready for her next journey, said that “I will never leave [Walsh Jennings’] side." She called her time in London "emotional," but added, "I think we learn so much about everything outside of volleyball. That’s what this Olympics signified. It was the journey off the court together, and it’s something we’re never going to forget and we’re going to be in each other’s lives forever.”

American beach volleyball fans were assured of gold and silver wins last night when two American teams competed for the top prize. Silver medal winners April Ross and Jen Kessy talk about the intense match and reveal whether they'll be heading to Rio in four years.

Walsh Jennings said of May-Treanor, “I think the world knows that she is the most genuine, amazing woman in the entire world. One in a billion.”
 
The pair have been known for their closeness, which translates to some serious throw-down in competition. “You wanna build momentum and you kind of want to crush the spirit of your competitors,” Walsh Jennings said, detailing a tense moment in the competition Wednesday night.
 
The pair, who beat fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16, said that it isn’t easy to go against members of your team. But according to May-Treanor, the “best way to represent USA beach volleyball is to have a gold medal match USA versus USA. They help elevate our game because they are such wonderful players.”
 
The two best friends revealed a little detail about their pre-game ritual, which starts with Walsh Jennings clearing all sharp edges out of the room. Then May-Treanor's break-dance music comes on, to which she does the eggbeater. “I should probably wear a helmet,” May-Treanor joked.

May-Treanor's husband, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor, could not attend the game but watched it on his laptop. He spoke to reporters about his wife and her partner, saying, “For them to go back and do this, you can’t say enough about the two of them. They’ve adapted their game, they became better in terms of communication and stuff like that, and the old ladies went out and did it.”
 
“Kerri might kill him for saying ‘old ladies,'” May-Treanor warned, but Walsh Jennings just smiled and said, “This dream is not possible without our husbands and our family and our loved ones."  

Or, apparently, the eggbeater.

Read more:

May-Treanor, Walsh Jennings go out with third straight gold
Beach volleyball (and its dance squad) takes TODAY by storm
Prince charming: Harry cheers on Olympic volleyball

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Discuss this post

Misty May is such a sweet person. She took time to sign autographs at a volley ball camp in California and pose for pictures with the girls. I know my daughter will never forget it.

  • 4 votes
Reply#1 - Thu Aug 9, 2012 1:40 PM EDT

I have loved watching these two play. It was quite telling in the match against the Brazilians: Kerri and Misty were continually hugging and motivating each other, just positive attitudes throughout, while Larissa and Juliana were often seen yelling at each other. Kerri has said she still plans to compete, but I can't even imagine her playing with anyone else.

  • 3 votes
Reply#2 - Thu Aug 9, 2012 1:45 PM EDT

Hat's off and salute to these "young" ladies!...They have set a new way for alot of girls....including my 10yr. old twinster-etts!....

Take that from an old single-sole-custody-Dada....and at my ripe ole age of 57....you are "young" ladies... "Golden Babes of the Sand"!!!

    Reply#3 - Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:25 AM EDT

    They have brought joy to this old disabled guy their entire careers. I will honor them and remember them and celebrate them until my ashes flutter on the wind. They capture not only the grace, power and will of women in athletics and in life, but represent the best of the Southern California that has been my home most of my life. They are American treasures. I will miss them together, but wish each of them only good things as they continue in life, wherever their respective paths may lead. Gratitude, ladies fair and triumphant. Gratitude.

    • 1 vote
    Reply#4 - Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:01 AM EDT

    I enjoyed very much Misty May & Kerri volley ball games. I found this is a sport so much fun to watch, especially when they play together, and they are so good at it. It's like they were borned to play that sport. Well done and Bravo for the Gold! I will miss them. I guess now it's time for family matters and children and perhaps new members of both family children will be the next Beach Volley ball Gold medalist, one day with their parents watching.

      Reply#5 - Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:45 AM EDT
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