Kerri Walsh-Jennings – The Rio Possibles

Kerri Walsh-Jennings will be competing in beach volleyball at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has won gold medals in the sport at the last three Olympics, although partnered by Misty May-Treanor, who has since retired. This time Walsh-Jennings (who previously competed at the Olympics only as Kerri Walsh) will be alongside April Ross. The following details which records Walsh-Jennings may achieve in Rio.

If She Wins a Gold Medal in Rio, Kerri Walsh-Jennings will …

  • Win her 4th gold medal in beach volleyball, becoming only the 8th woman to win 4 gold medals in the same event – after Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (GDR/GER) in kayak fours canoeing (1988, 1996-2004); Isabelle Werth (FRG) in team dressage in equestrian (1992-2000, 2008); Teresa Edwards (USA) in basketball (1984-88, 1996-2000); Lisa Leslie (USA) in basketball (1996-2008); and Jayna Hefford, Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette (CAN) in ice hockey (all 2002-14).
  • Become the 5th woman to win 4 consecutive gold medals in the same Olympic event, equalling Lisa Leslie (USA) in basketball, and Jayna Hefford, Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette (CAN) in ice hockey.
  • Become the 2nd USA woman to win 4 consecutive gold medals in the same Summer Olympic event, equalling Lisa Leslie in basketball.
  • Become =4th among all Olympians, any sport, either gender, by winning 4 gold medals in the same event, trailing only Aladár Gerevich (HUN) in team sabre fencing, with 6; and Reiner Klimke (FRG/GER) in team dressage in equestrian, with 5, and Pál Kovács (HUN) in team sabre fencing.
  • Of note, three women on the 2016 USA Olympic basketball team – Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, and Diana Taurasi – may also win their 4th consecutive gold medals, matching the above most gold medal records.
  • Become the oldest Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball. Walsh-Jennings will celebrate her 38th birthday 2 days before the women’s final in Rio, making her 38-002 if she wins gold. The oldest previous gold medalist was another American, volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, who was 35-267 when he won beach volleyball gold in 1996. The oldest previous female gold  medalist was Australian Kerri-Ann Pottharst, who was 35-092 when she won in 2000. Simply by competing, Walsh-Jennings will become the 4th oldest female competitor in Olympic beach volleyball, trailing Pottharst, and Americans Gail Castro (1996 / 38-254) and Elaine Youngs (2008 / 38-176).

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