Women in sports: Kerri Walsh Jennings

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Jordyn Carlson, Sports Reporter

My family watches the Olympics a great deal. In these past summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, I saw Kerri Walsh Jennings for my first time. She played in the two-on-two beach volleyball with her partner, April Ross. My eyes were glued as I witnessed Kerri’s incredible float serves and her killer spikes. Being a former volleyball player, I really enjoyed watching and learning from some of the things she did.

I vividly remember when she and April won the Bronze medal. When they played the national anthem, she cried as the flag was wrapped around her. I aspire to be as devoted and passionate as she is; someday standing under my country’s flag while our national anthem is being played would be a dream. I look up to people like this.

It’s amazing to have some sort of tie to an athlete; something that you have in common with them. Even though I am not apart of the volleyball community anymore, I still understand the game and the difficulties of it: the sore arms, jammed fingers, and muscle aches. Kudos to Kerri for playing for so long and continuing to become better.

Beach volleyball is different in the sense that it’s commonly played with two people and that’s difficult. One thing I personally admire is work ethic, and with this sport comes a lot of that. Kerri makes it look easy when it isn’t; she smiles all while she’s playing her heart out. That is the kind of athlete I like to watch and follow. She knows how to have fun and not take things so seriously and I can relate because I’m not too serious myself. I think that in order to be good at something it does take hard work, but it also takes someone who knows how to take a joke and enjoy what they’re doing.

Kerri also works well with others, she went from having Misty May as her partner and quickly adjusted to April Ross. I try and learn from how she and others like her get into the groove of a new team or team member: smoothly. Not just playing side-by-side in match after match or game after game, but knowing each other’s ins and outs; knowing the other’s weaknesses and strengths, and being the best of friends.

I want to someday be able to carry myself like Kerri does and adjust to new obstacles thrown my way; I think that she is an incredible role model for girls of all ages everywhere. No matter the circumstance, Kerri holds herself high and shows respect to her opponents which I highly look up to. Good sportsmanship is one of the most important qualities to have as an athlete and in today’s world, we need all of the people that we can get like that.