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Beach Olympic Games

Interesting notes:

  • The United States has won gold at every Olympic beach showing, either in men's or women's, since the sports inception in 1996.
  • The U.S. has won three of the five gold medals in beach volleyball Olympic history, for both men and women. USA has the most gold out of any country and a total of nine medals, Brazil leads the medal count with 11.
  • In total, there are 96 athletes competing in the beach discipline during the Olympics (48 men, 48 women; 24 teams in each gender medal event - max two teams per country, per gender).
  • The four pairs comprising the 2016 U.S. Olympic Beach Volleyball Team are all new partnerships to the quad. Gibb/Patterson joined 2013; Dalhausser/Lucena 2015; Fendrick/Sweat 2014; Ross/Walsh Jennings 2013. Historically, new partnerships ahead of an Olympics do well: Karch Kiraly/Kent Steffes won gold in 1996 after a domestic-only lead up to the Games, Walsh Jennings/Misty May-Treanor joined in 2001 and won their first gold in 2004, Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser joined in 2006 and won gold in 2008.
  • USA has placed two teams on the Olympic podium on three occasions. First in 1996 (gold/silver, men), 2004 (gold/bronze, women), 2012 (gold/silver, women). Only Brazil and China have also accomplished this feat (Brazil: 2008 men's silver/bronze, 2000 women's silver/bronze, 1996 women's gold/silver; China: 2008 women's silver/bronze).
  • For the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Kerri Walsh Jennings is going for her fourth gold medal, which would make her just the third American ever to win four gold in one event for a team sport (Teresa Edwards basketball 1984-2000; Lisa Leslie basketball 1996-2008).
  • If Walsh Jennings wins gold, she will be the fourth woman ever, and second American, to win four consecutive in a team sport (Jayna Hefford, Canada, hockey; Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada, hockey; Lisa Leslie, U.S., basketball).
  • If Walsh Jennings medals, she will be the most decorated beach athlete (male or female) in the sport; she currently is tied with Misty May-Treanor for three medals (all gold) and Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil who each have gold, silver and bronze. No one had two gold medals before the pair earned their second in Beijing (2008) and no woman had three medals of any color before London (2012).
  • The first ever FIVB World Tour event was played Feb. 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janerio won by Americans Randy Stoklos/Sinjin Smith. The Games in Rio will be 29 years since then and in that time the U.S. has won 18 FIVB World Tour medals in the city (14 men, 4 women).
  • 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games

    Venue: Copacabana Beach
    Dates: Aug. 5 to Aug. 21

    Drawing of lots (Olympic pools and matches) is July 9 in Gstaad, Switzerland

    Qualifying for beach:
    1. World Championships - One spot available per gender, per country, if team wins. Took place June 26 - July 5, 2015 in The Netherlands. Brazil earned both men's and women's spots when Alison/Schmidt and Barbara/Agatha won the men's and women's titles, respectively.

    2. FIVB Olympic Rankings - (Spots 3-17) 15 highest ranking teams in both genders by June 13, 2016. Ranking is based on points from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 13, 2016. Maximum of two pairs, per gender, for a country. Since the U.S. didn't win Worlds, two spots could be gained by rankings. USAV will nominate the team(s) with the highest point total(s), if the U.S. has quota spots earned in the Top 15 Rankings. See eligibility below.

    Brazil earned one spot for men and women through World Championships and their second spots for both genders by being the host country. Brazil's teams that rank in the Top 15 will not count in the spots allotted through rankings.

    See current provisional Olympic rankings for: MEN | WOMEN

    3. NORCECA Continental Cup | June 20-26, 2016 in Acapulco, Mexico - One quota spot per confederation available (Meaning USAV could only win one quota spot per gender here). Each NF is represented by two teams per gender, three phases will be played (1st, 2nd, Finals) with the winning team moving on. If the U.S. earns two spots via rankings, they will not compete in this event. USA will send teams to this event based on their Olympic ranking, teams must have played 12 events together. Participating countries: USA, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic.

    4. FIVB World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification | July 4-10, 2016 in Sochi, Russia - The 2nd and 3rd NF from each Continental Cup (#3) that has not already earned two quota spots will qualify for this event. USAV will only compete in the final phase based on our NORCECA ranking. Teams ranked in first or second at this event can each earn one quota spot for thier NF. This is the last chance to qualify for the 2016 Games. If the U.S. earns two spots between the FIVB rankings or Continental Cup, they will not compete in this event.

    Event will be played as country vs country (ex. both USA's teams vs Country X). If USA wins in the head-to-head, the two American teams will have a playoff for the Olympic spot.

    Athlete Eligibility for Rio Olympics
    1. To qualify through the Olympic Ranking List, all athletes must have participated in a minimum of 12 official FIVB Olympic Qualification tournaments as an individual (FIVB World Tour/World Championships/recognized Continental Tour Finals) between Jan. 1, 2015 until June 12, 2016.

    In the event of a tie, the following criteria will apply to determine the teams earning the quota place for their NOC:
    a) The total qualification points accumulated as a team through Olympic Qualification tournaments Jan. 1, 2015 to June 12, 2016
    b) The total number of Olympic Qualification tournaments the team has participated in from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 12, 2016
    c) The best finishes as a team in the Olympic Qualification tournaments from Jan. 1, 2015 to June 12, 2016

    The Olympic Ranking is established on FIVB World Ranking points earned at the 12 best performances as a team in the World Championships, World Tour events and recognized Continental Tour Finals (best of the two results) from Jan. 1, 2015 until June 12, 2016.

    2. To qualify through the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup or Continental Cup Olympic Qualification, athletes must have participated as an individual in a minimum of 12 events among Continental Cups (Continental Final and Olympic Qualification), National and/or Continental and/or FIVB events scheduled from June 1, 2014 until July 10, 2016.

    There is a limit of two teams per country for the Olympic Games

    FIVB World Tour Points Breakdown
    Points per athlete
        Grand Slam/
    Major Series
    1st    400   250  
    2nd   360   225  
    3rd   320   200  
    4th   280   175  
    5th   240   150  
    9th   180   120  
    17th   120   90  
    25th   80   60  
    33rd   40   30  

    - An athlete can earn a maximum of one quota place for their NOC to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
    - The host country (Brazil) is guaranteed one quota place per gender and the right to participate in all qualification events to earn a second quota place

    2012 London Olympic Games

    Venue: Horse Guards Parade
    Dates: July 28 to Aug. 9
    Medals: Gold Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings; Silver Jennifer Kessy and April Ross
    *For more information on U.S. beach volleyball teams that competed at the 2012 Olympic Games, click here

    NBC 2012 Olympic Games Page | FIVB 2012 Olympic Games Page | Beach Media Resources

    2008 Beijing Olympic Games

    Venue: Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground
    Dates: Aug. 9-22
    Medals: Gold Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser; Gold Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor

    2004 Athens Olympic Games

    Venue: Faliro Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre
    Dates: Aug. 14-25
    Medals: Gold Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor; Bronze Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs

    2000 Sydney Olympic Games

    Venue: Bondi Beach
    Dates: Sept. 16-26
    Medals: Gold Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana

    1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

    Venue: Atlanta Beach
    Dates: July 23-28
    Medals: Gold Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes; Silver Michael Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh