Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings was born August 15, 1978.

Walsh Jennings had early success playing indoor volleyball, earning four consecutive first-team All-America awards at Stanford in the late 1990s and earning fourth place with the U.S. indoor team at the 2000 Olympic Games.

However, Walsh Jennings then chose to transition into the beach volleyball world, and it was on the sand that she imprinted her status as an all-time great.

Walsh Jennings first partnered with Misty May-Treanor in 2001. Although the two were upset in the Round of 16 at the 2001 FIVB World Championships, the pair quickly built strong chemistry, and they broke out by winning gold at the 2003 Worlds.

After Walsh won a pair of Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) MVPs in 2003 and 2004, the two stars became the first American women to medal in beach volleyball, winning every set en route to gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

The rest of the decade saw similar domination, as the team took gold at the 2005 Worlds, 2007 Worlds, and 2008 Olympic Games, being named the AVP Team of the Year five consecutive times and being referred to by Team USA’s website as "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time."

After marrying male volleyball player Casey Jennings and starting a family, Walsh Jennings' production briefly slowed. The 6-foot-2 superstar had children in 2009 and 2010, sitting out the 2009 Worlds and taking silver with May-Treanor in 2011 as a result of the rust.

In the 2012 Games, though, Walsh Jennings came through with arguably her most impressive performance, competing with May-Treanor and winning her third consecutive gold medal despite being several weeks pregnant with her third child. A compilation of highlights from all three Olympic golds can be seen here:

May-Treanor retired after the 2012 Games, but Walsh Jennings has since partnered with fellow American April Ross (who was on the team that took second to Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor in 2012.)

Although the pair was upset in the Round of 16 at the 2015 Worlds, they are preparing for the 2016 Games, where Walsh Jennings can join Al Oerter (discus) and Carl Lewis (long jump) as the only athletes in history to win a gold medal in the same event at four consecutive Olympics.

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