The history of Olympic Beach Volleyball began in 1992. This is the year that beach volleyball became a demonstration sport in the summer Olympics. One year later in 1993, the International Olympic Committee voted to make beach volleyball an official Olympic sport.
Olympic beach volleyball was played as a medal sport for the first time at the 2006 Atlanta Olympics. Twenty-four men’s teams and 18 women’s teams would compete in a 10,000 seat stadium. The results would include Americans winning two of the three medals available for men’s Olympic beach volleyball. The women’s gold medal would belong to a Brazilian team. Over 100,000 fans would attend the week long volleyball festivities, and the IOC announced that Olympic beach volleyball would be seen again in the Australian games.
In 2000, Americans Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana would win a second gold medal for the American Olympic beach volleyball team. In the women’s competition the Australians would take gold leaving the reigning gold medal Brazilian team to finish with the bronze medal. The 2004 Olympics would prove not as successful for the American men as the previous Olympic games. The American men fell short of the medal podium. Although, the American team of Misty May and Kerri Walsh would dominate the women’s competition. The May/Walsh team would win every game including the gold medal game. Bringing home the first Olympic beach volleyball gold medal for the women.
The 2008 games would again belong to the American women. Misty May and Kerri Walsh became the first Olympic beach volleyball team to successfully defend their gold medal at the Olympic games. The men would not be outdone capturing the gold medal for the men’s competition.
Olympic beach volleyball will be played at the 2012 games in London. Despite it’s relatively short history it is still one of the most watched and talked about sports in the summer Olympics.