Per the official website of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, the beach volleyball competitions will take place between Saturday, July 8, and Thursday, August 9.
In Olympic beach volleyball, two-person teams compete against each other in head-to-head competitions. They play on a sand court, which is divided by a net. Teams try to get the ball to go over the net and fall into their opponents' side of the court. Each score is worth one point. All matches utilize a best-of-three set format. In the initial two games, the first team to score 21 points (with a two-point cushion) wins the contest. The third game, if necessary, is to 15 points.
Several excellent volleyball players will be representing the United States at the London Summer Olympic Games. One of these athletes is Misty May-Treanor.
Here is some information on this competitor that will be of interest both to volleyball fans and to casual observers. All of the data comes from USA Volleyball, unless otherwise noted.
Name: Misty May-Treanor
Country: United States
Born: July 30, 1977 (she will be 35 years old in less than a month)
Height: 5 feet, 9 inches
College: Long Beach State, where she majored in kinesiology and physical education.
Residences: According to her personal website, Misty May-Treanor was born in Los Angeles, Calif. During her high school years, she lived in Costa Mesa, Calif. Per Beach Volleyball Database, she currently resides in Coral Springs, Fla.
Marriage: She went by Misty May until she married Matt Treanor, a professional baseball player for the Texas Rangers, in December 2008.
Collegiate Success: Per her personal website, Misty May-Treanor captained the 1998 (indoor sixes volleyball) national champion Long Beach State 49ers squad. That team not only won the national championship, it went undefeated. She was an NCAA First Team All-American in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
Professional Success: Per Beach Volleyball Database, Misty May-Treanor made her professional beach volleyball debut in 1999. Over the course of her career, she has won 110 doubles tournaments and has collected approximately $2,110,983 in prize money.
Olympic History: Misty May-Treanor has been a participant in the last three Olympic beach volleyball tournaments. She partnered with Holly McPeak to finish in fifth place at the 2000 Summer Games. She teamed up with Kerri Walsh for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and won the gold medal on both occasions. She will once again partner with Walsh for the London Olympics in the hopes of winning an unprecedented third gold medal in beach volleyball. However, the duo have their work cut out for them. Per Sporting News, they are not favored to win the event this time around.
Acting Career: Misty May-Treanor "has appeared on episodes of CSI: Miami and Wizards of Waverly Place." She also participated in Dancing with the Stars in the fall of 2008; however, her tenure on the program was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury.
Other Interesting Facts: Misty May-Treanor has tattoos honoring her late mother and grandmother. Her nickname is Turtle. She comes from a family of Olympic athletes. Her father, Butch May, was a member of the 1968 U.S. men's Olympic (indoor sixes) volleyball team, and her cousin, Taylor Dent, competed for the U.S. in the 2004 Olympic tennis tournament.
The author played recreational volleyball during his youth and early adulthood, as well as one year of club level volleyball at Roanoke College. He is an avid fan of the Olympic Games.