Misty May-Treanor played in her first beach volleyball tournament at age 8, with her father, and she later led her high school team to two national indoor volleyball championships and her college team to an undefeated season. Paired with Kerri Walsh-Jennings, May-Treanor won Olympic gold at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the pair started off with a bang, defeating Australia, the Czech Republic, Austria, The Netherlands, Italy and China. They went on to win the final against fellow American team Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, 2-0 (21-16, 21-16), taking their third consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball.
Misty May-Treanor was born in Los Angeles, California in 1977. Coming from an athletic family, she grew up playing beach volleyball with parents Barbara May, a former nationally ranked tennis player, and Robert "Butch" May, a member of the 1968 U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team. At age 8, she played in her first volleyball tournament, with her father, and at Newport Harbor High School, she helped her team win two state championships (indoor volleyball) in 1992 and 1994.
At Long Beach State, where she majored in kinesiology and physical education, May-Treanor was the captain of the team—which became the first women's NCAA volleyball team to go undefeated in 1998.
In Sydney in 2000, May-Treanor played in her first Olympic Games, where she placed fifth with partner Holly McPeak. The following year, May-Treanor paired up with Kerri Walsh-Jennings in what became an unstoppable beach volleyball team, one that would go on to generally be considered the best in the history of the sport. They were named Federation Internationale de Volleyball Tour Champions in 2002, and named Team of the Year in 2003.
In 2004, May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings, riding an 89-game win streak, were ready for the Athens Olympics, and they swept through unchallenged, eventually winning the gold medal over Brazil in the finals. Also in 2004, she married professional baseball player Matt Treanor.
May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings continued their outstanding play and appeared again four years later at the Beijing Games, again winning the gold, this time against the team from China. Also in 2008, the duo broke their own records by winning 19 straight tournaments and 112 consecutive matches.
In 2010, May-Treanor teamed up with new partner Nicole Branagh. The two had some success, but in 2011, May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings were together again, preparing for the 2012 London Summer Games. They reunited for the first time since Beijing at the 2011 FIVB season opener, earning a silver medal. They followed with a fourth place finish in Sayna, China, a gold medal at the Beijing Grand Slam, and a second place finish at the World Championships. They took first place two more times later that year, at the Moscow Grand Slam and the A1 Grand Slam.
The duo continued their streak in early 2012 with strong finishes at several big tournaments. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, the pair started off with a bang, defeating Australia, the Czech Republic and Austria. They advanced to earn another win against The Netherlands, and then defeated Italy in the quarter-finals. They then beat China in the semi-finals round, and went on to win the final against fellow American team Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, 2-0 (21-16, 21-16), taking their third consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball.
According to TeamUSA.org, May-Treanor's 2012 gold medal will likely be her last; she's long planned to retire following her fourth run at the Olympic Games. "It's time for me to be a wife," May-Treanor said, according to TeamUSA.org. "I want to be a mom. And share time with my family. My mind says it's time, my body says it's time, and it's the right time."
Over the course of her career, May-Treanor has received a long list of accolades and awards, among them the FIVB's Most Outstanding Player, MVP, Best Defensive Player and Sportsperson of the Year.
Life Off the Court
Off the beach volleyball court, May-Treanor has dabbled in acting, appearing on episodes of CSI: Miami and Wizards of Waverly Place. She also competed on TV's Dancing with the Stars, although she withdrew after rupturing her Achilles tendon while practicing, which caused her to miss nearly the entire volleyball season. In 2010, May-Treanor published her autobiography, Misty, Digging Deep in Volleyball and Life.
May-Treanor is married to Matt Treanor, a catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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