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Thursday, September 23, 2021
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‘Shocked that we were able to do it,’ say beach volleyball gold medalists

Women’s Beach Volleyball Duo, Alix Klineman and April Ross, stopped by the Empire State Building on Monday (August 9) to celebrate their Gold Medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Ross and Klineman won the first Olympic gold medal for the United States in women’s beach volleyball since 2012 on Friday (August 6), when they beat Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy at the Tokyo Games, with temperatures on the sand court rising to 45°C (113°F).

With chants of “U-S-A” from 20 team administrative staff members cheering them in an otherwise empty arena, the U.S. duo started off strong and sailed through the match 21-13, 21-15 under the scorching sun.

The final disappointment for Australia was a service into the net that gave Klineman and Ross the winning point, prompting the U.S. pair to replace their gentle hover hugs that had followed each score with a deep embrace.

About 10 officials from each country’s Olympic federation were on hand to cheer their teams at the shadeless court propped up at the Shiokaze Park alongside Tokyo Bay.

The public was not invited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States, the birthplace of beach volleyball, and Brazil have dominated the medals since it became an Olympic sport in 1996 – between them accounting for nine of the 12 golds in the men’s and women’s events coming into the 2020 Games.

Ross and Klineman’s dominant two-set win over Australia at Tokyo 2020 counted as the fourth U.S. women’s gold in a sport introduced to the Olympics in 1996.

(Production: Aleksandra Michalska, Hussein Al Waaile)

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