Here's Everything Kerri Walsh Jennings Has Accomplished in Her Olympic Career

Source: AP
Source: AP

The United States' Kerri Walsh Jennings is one of the greatest beach volleyball players the sport has ever seen. And with her on the verge of a fourth Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro, we should look back on how the 37-year-old from Santa Clara, California, has become a slayer of the sand.

1996: After leading her high school, Archbishop Mitty, to three straight state championships, Walsh was named Gatorade National High School Volleyball Player of the Year. During her time in high school, she competed against Misty May-Treanor, who'd eventually become her storied Olympic teammate.

1996-2000: Walsh's collegiate career at Stanford saw her become only the second volleyball player in NCAA history to be a first-team all-American all four years of school. She was the co-National Player of the Year in 1999.

2000: Walsh encountered major adversity right at the start of her professional career, playing on the women's indoor team at the Sydney Olympics when she missed some games due to a false-positive drug test. After she was retested, Walsh was cleared of the inaccurate test and helped the team to a fourth-place finish.

Kerri Walsh at the 2000 Olympics
Source: 
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

2001: Walsh began her partnership with May-Treanor, beginning what would become the greatest duo in beach volleyball history. They finished that year fifth in the Association of Volleyball Professionals Tour.

Walsh's headshot in 2001
Source: 
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

2002: Walsh and May-Treanor became the top-ranked team on the AVP Tour for the first time in their careers.

Walsh and Misty May in 2002
Source: 
GERT EGGENBERGER/AP

2003: Walsh and May-Treanor won a record 90 straight matches and each of the eight tournaments they entered during the year, including a world championship.

Walsh and May celebrate in 2003
Source: 
ANTONIO SCORZA/Getty Images

2004: Walsh and May-Treanor won their first Olympic goal medal in Athens without dropping a set.

Kerri Walsh in 2004
Source: 
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

2008: Walsh and May-Treanor went on to repeat as Olympic champions in Beijing, again winning gold without losing any set. They extended their unbeaten winning streak to 108 matches.

May-Treanor (left) and Walsh in 2008
Source: 
Peter Kramer/AP

2012: Walsh and May-Treanor did lose their first set at an Olympic games in London but went on to win a third consecutive gold medal. It would be Walsh's last competition with May-Treanor as her partner. May-Treanor retired from the sport shortly after.

Walsh in 2012
Source: 
David Becker/Getty Images

2013: Walsh, with new partner April Ross, broke the career record for most wins by a female volleyball player by winning the FIVB Grand Slam for her 113th title. The win, ironically, broke her former partner May-Treanor's career-win record of 112. 

Walsh at the World Series of Beach Volleyball in 2013
Source: 
Jae C. Hong/AP

Read more: 
• Brazil Couldn't Fix Its Water Pollution Problem in Time for the 2016 Rio Olympics
• 5 Years Ago, This Runner Tweeted Her Dream to Go to the Olympics — Now It's Coming True
• Here's What It Costs to Host the 2016 Rio Olympics and How It Compares to Previous Games

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Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones is a sports, political and music journalist whose work has been featured in the Intercept, the Guardian, Ebony magazine, World Soccer Talk, MSNBC and The Grio.

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