LONDON — Misty May-Treanor danced on the sand and then off it, taking a victory lap around the court before leaving Horse Guards Parade with Kerri Walsh Jennings as the first three-time gold medalists in Olympic beach volleyball history.
Extending their Olympic winning streak to 21 matches, Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor beat fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 on Wednesday night.
The two-time defending champions fell to their knees and hugged as Ross’ final serve went long on match point, then took the celebration to the stands.
May-Treanor, who was knocked out of Dancing with the Stars when she tore her Achilles tendon, then began doing a funky jig to rival the scantily clad cheerleaders who entertain the sold-out crowds and the Olympics’ iconic venue during timeouts.
The winners hugged their family and friends in the stands – although not May-Treanor’s husband, Matt, a Los Angeles Dodgers catcher who was watching on a computer from the team’s clubhouse – and high-fived just about everyone holding an American flag.
Even Ross and Kessy, who won a silver medal in their Olympic debut, have called their fellow Americans legends.
But they were hoping to supplant them as the top team in the United States by depriving them another Olympic gold medal. Instead, the Athens, Beijing and now London gold medalists remained unbeaten through three Olympiads, losing just one of 43 sets.
It was the Olympic farewell for May-Treanor, who has said she would like to have children.