Misty May-Treanor danced on the sand and then off it, leaving Horse Guards Parade with Kerri Walsh Jennings and a third gold medal. "Misty and I have something really special. The world knows it, we know it, and we embrace it," Walsh Jennings told NBC after the match, adding that the third medal "is insane. It doesn't feel like it's real." Also having a tough time gathering her thoughts? May-Treanor, who is retiring from the sport after the Games.
It was an All-American battle in the sand on Wednesday afternoon.
Two-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings took on fellow Team USA mates Jen Kessy and April Ross in a beach volleyball match in London. This is the first time - since the 1996 debut of the sport in the Olympics - that two teams from the same country have competed for a gold medal.
The match started with nearby Big Ben pealing the hour and ended with the "Star-Spangled Banner" rising from the iconic venue in the Prime Minister's backyard, just down the Mall from the royal residence at Buckingham Palace.
Dominating the sport for three Olympiads, Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor have won every match they've ever played at the Summer Games and lost just one of 43 sets.
No one had ever won even two beach volleyball gold medals before the Americans won their second straight in Beijing.
No woman had ever won three Olympic beach volleyball medals of any kind.
"I know how hard it is to win one tournament. And the amount of tournaments they've won is crazy," said Kessy, who jumped for joy on the medal podium after she and Ross won silver in their Olympic debuts. "For them to do it for years and years and to be on top is just really impressive. We learn a lot from them."