At the 2012 Olympics, April Ross faced off against Kerri Walsh Jennings in the gold medal beach volleyball match in London. Ross ended up taking silver, and immediately found a new partner in three-time gold medalist Walsh Jennings.
Poised and planning to win gold last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, their efforts were thwarted by a powerful Brazilian duo who beat them in the semi-finals (Walsh Jenning’s first Olympic defeat in the sport), leaving them to battle it out with another Brazilian team for a bronze medal.
“Coming into the Olympics, I just pictured fighting for gold and that was our goal,” Ross, 34, tells Us Weekly. “I can’t believe how hard it was to mentally and emotionally to come back from that loss and how hard we had to fight in the match to win the bronze. We’re just so grateful for our bronze medal. It honestly, it’s a huge honor to bring that home to America.”
Ross — who headed back to the U.S. before the closing ceremony to prepare for the rest of the sport’s season — is already thinking about getting that elusive gold in Tokyo in 2020.
“My goal now is Tokyo for sure,” the Aussie-sponsored athlete, who favors the 3 Minute Miracle Moist product, explains. “It feels so far away but it just flies by.”
As for her partner, five-time Olympian Walsh Jennings, her future is still up in the air.
“I don’t know what Kerri is going to do yet; she’s going to take time and figure it out and I’ll wait until she does that,” Ross says. “Her level of play is so high right now, so there’s been no fall off. I think she should keep playing.”
Walsh Jennings is, however, keeping her options open.
“I know I can,” she told Us. “I don’t know if I will.”
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