Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kerri Walsh: "Mission Accomplished!"

It's the middle of the night in London. I'm in my hotel near Paddington Station while across town in the Olympic Village, I suspect Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor are still celebrating.

Paraphrasing Lionel Richie, they are once, twice, three time a lady's gold medalist in Olympic beach volleyball. Kudos to this Team USA duo -- Olympic champions for the third consecutive Games -- and to their teammates April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, winners of the silver medal.

Congratulations are also in order for the Brazilian medal winners Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva who earned da bronze.

This was my third consecutive Olympics to witness Walsh and May-Treanor take home the gold. In Athens 2004, on a beach beside the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. duo brought home their first Olympic victory. Four years later, in the pouring rain at a theme park venue in Beijing, they won again. In both cities, it took until the next day to interact with the Olympic champions (in Athens, a the TODAY Show set, repeated in Beijing).

Tonight I enjoyed the competition from section 109, stayed for the medal ceremony (captured on video from behind the U.S. flag raising during the national anthem for Team USA), then hung out until most of the purple-clad venue volunteers exited the building. With a combination USA House badge and London Media Centre badge in tow, and a couple of Olympic pin trades later, I found myself outside the Horse Guard's Parade venue media centre in which the medalists were interviewed by the world's media.

Outside a small group of teenage fans awaiting the medalists for a chance photo or autograph, and I captured video of all four U.S. medal winners as they exited the media tent. Check out Kerri Walsh sporting her three-peat Olympic medal, which she describes as a "mission accomplished" feat that made her say "... it's like I don't have a head on my shoulders!" and stating of the gold medal "she's beautiful."

I will post each of the videos to YouTube (but tonight just doing the best of them -- it's awfully late).

As in Athens, Walsh proved to be a class act taking time to inspire a generation (the theme of the London 2012 Olympic Games) by signing autographs and posing for photos with young fans (it was nice to see all of Team USA do this after their press conference).

Congratulations to the three-time Olympic Champions in women's beach volleyball.

Video and photos by Nicholas Wolaver

1 comment:

Jed Eckert said...

Great job, Nick. Very jealous that you got to be there and see it all.

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