Americans Corner the Market on Beach Volleyball Gold

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The United States has won more gold medals in Olympic beach volleyball than other country in history. Another gold medal is imminent, as Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross face Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the women's beach volleyball finals at the London Games.

No matter who wins in London, Team USA will earn its sixth beach volleyball gold.

Here is a breakdown of the other golds Team USA has won in the sand:

Beijing 2008

May-Treanor and Walsh dominated the field in the women's competition to win their second beach volleyball gold medal. It was the first time in Olympic history that any beach volleyball team had won two consecutive golds.

The duo never lost a set throughout the Olympic tournament. They beat China's Jie Wang and Jia Tian 21-18, 21-18 in the gold medal match.

The American men also won beach volleyball gold in Beijing, but didn't start the tourney as winners. Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers entered the Games as the top seed, but lost their first match. They went on to defeat Brazilians Marcio Araujo and Fabio Luiz in three sets to win the final round and secure the gold.

Athens 2004

Team USA's women earned their first gold medal in beach volleyball in Athens. Brazilians Bede and Bahar barely kept up with Misty May and Kerri Walsh through the first set, losing 21-17. The Americans rallied in the second set, winning 21-11.

May and Walsh swept every match they played in the Athens Games, winning each in straight sets. Their tourney success started a winning streak that spanned 112 consecutive matches and culminated in their second gold medal in Beijing.

Sydney 2000

American upstarts Eric Fonoimoana and Dain Blanton beat up on Brazil's Ricardo Santos and Ze Marco de Melo to win the gold medal in Australia. The two entered the Sydney Games as the 9th seed, and were not expected to progress past the early rounds of competition.

Atlanta 1996

The Atlanta Games were the first Olympics to host men's and women's beach volleyball. An American-invented sport showcased on American soil, it was only fitting that one of the first gold medals went to the United States.

The gold medal match in the men's tournament was an all-American affair. Karch Karaly and Kent Steffes faced fellow compatriots Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh in the final round. Karaly and Steffes took the gold, but both American teams shined.

Kathryn Walsh played indoor volleyball in junior high and high school. Once in college on the California coast, she discovered beach volleyball. She has been an avid fan and occasional player since.

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