A Tribute to Beach Volleyball’s Unsung Heroes

Beach Volleyball
PC: USA Beach Volleyball Twitter

The USA has a rich tradition of beach volleyball. Many think of Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. But, we can’t forget about Phil Dalhausser and Jake Gibb. They had amazing runs in the sport. With the loss to Germany in the quarterfinals in three sets, Gibb is calling is career. Additionally, Dalhausser has officially confirmed his retirement with the loss to Qatar in the quarterfinals.

Jake Gibb’s Legacy

Jake Gibb started in volleyball competition making $825. He got serious, and became an icon. It doesn’t matter that he never got a medal. What matters most his he gave it his all and was never afraid to fail. He made his Olympic debut in 2008 and didn’t look back. At age 45, he showed us it didn’t matter how old you were. What mattered most was the passion you brought to work every single day. He also collected countless accolades with the Association of Volleyball Professionals, better known as the AVP. Too many to name. Gibb also showed us why we should never give up. He beat testicular cancer in 2010 and malignant melanoma on his left shoulder in 2002. A man deep rooted in his faith, his family, and the sport he loves. That is what it’s all about right there.

Phil Dalhausser’s Legacy

Phil Dalhausser is going to give back to the game. He opened the Phil Dalhausser Beach Volleyball Academy in Florida to teach kids the sport. Dalhausser won the gold medal in 2008 with his then partner Todd Rodgers. He was never able to get back on the podium. But, like Gibb he showed us what true passion looks like. He kept going, and teamed up with Nick Lucena again when they were both the age 41. They both have families and children of their own. Dalhausser with the support of his family knew he could do anything and regardless of victory or defeat, go home to his cheering section.

What these men have and what they accomplished is greater than any gold medal. They lived the Olympic dream, the American dream, and inspired the next generation of players. That is something to be proud of. Congratulations and thank you to these beach volleyball icons for doing it the right away. We wish them well in retirement.

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