The beach volleyball superstars successfully defend their Olympic title

By Cynthia Wang
August 21, 2008 09:20 AM
Georgios Kefalas/EPA

Beach volleyball may not look the same with damp sand and rainy skies, but the women standing atop the medal podium are very familiar indeed. Defending gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor triumphed just like they did in Athens, this time defeating the Chinese team of Wang Jie and Tian Jia.

After the match, Walsh looked over at her partner while addressing reporters and gushed, “Misty May! I don’t know what to say. You’re so great!” She then added, “We are just so happy. We felt like warriors out there. It’s an honor to win this gold medal.”

A smiling May-Treanor enthused, “We have just gone back-to-back at the Olympics. No one has ever done that [in beach volleyball]. I’m so elated. Woo! That’s all I can say.”

She also sang the praises of her teammate: “Kerri and I love each other. Gold was our goal – and we did it.”

The pair also extended their winning streak to 108 matches in a row. Having played together since 2001, Walsh told ESPN earlier this year, “We have grown so much, from girls to women, really …. We’ve won a gold together, we’ve traveled all over the world, [and] now we’re both married.”

Walsh, who celebrated her 30th birthday on August 15, is married to fellow beach volleyball player Casey Jennings. May-Treanor, 31, is married to Florida Marlins catcher Matt Treanor.

“He cried like a little baby,” May-Treanor told PEOPLE of her husband. “He got to watch it on the Slingbox. They were playing the Giants, so he had updates from different teammates. He was in the bullpen but got to watch it so I finally got to talk to him.”

When the two return to the States, they’ll be back in their bikinis – playing beach volleyball on the AVP tour. “With Misty and I … we don’t compare each other with any other team,” Walsh said. “We have something special.”