They’re going for the gold — again! Kerri Walsh Jennings is going for her fourth gold medal in a row in beach volleyball during this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s the support from her family that keeps her motivated.
“My family and I made [this choice] together, that we are going to go and win a gold medal together,” the 37-year-old tells Us Weekly.
The four-time Olympian admits that it is leaving her family that creates the biggest challenge for her during training and competitions.
“My biggest challenge is dealing with the sadness that I have when I leave my children. That’s a very real thing,” the mom of three says. “We’re not going to be together a lot of the times.”
Walsh Jennings, who was famously five weeks pregnant with daughter Scout during the London Games, has found that her goal is not only to maintain her undefeated streak but to inspire greatness.
“I’m really committed to just growing and evolving my entire life, and my children have taught me so much. I want to be better because I’m their mommy. You know, I want to be their best role model. You know, I want to represent my country well, but whatever I am doing, I just want to be great.”
The KT Tape–sponsored athlete will be going into Rio with a new partner in her greatness. With longtime teammate Misty May-Treanor retiring shortly after their London victory, Walsh Jennings has a new partner in April Ross — who she defeated in the finals in London (Ross played with Jen Kessy, and they took home silver).
“April has just made me better,” the wife of fellow pro beach volleyball player Casey Jennings explains. “Our level is consistently way up here. And you need to be way up here to win a gold medal, which we are going to do. But every day we challenge each other. And it's been an eventful, and an emotional, and physical — it's been, like, growth in all areas. So, I admire her and I really respect her and I want to — I don’t want to keep up with her, I just want to, you know, rise with her. And I feel like we are doing it together, which is awesome.”