Monday, August 6, 2012

Greta Cicolari and olympic beach volleyball

Probably like a lot of people, I find the London Olympics to be a bit overwhelming. So many sports, over several weeks, ambiguous scheduling, and multiple channels covering it. So I have caught a few events here and there.

Yesterday I was watching the American womens beach volleyball team of May and Walsh against the Italian team of Cicolari and Menegatti. I didn't specifically watch it because they were playing "Italy." Beach volleyball, especially the women's game, has become very popular in recent years; and not only because they play in what amounts to bikinis.

May and Walsh are going for their third straight Olympic gold metals, and may be the best team in the history of woman's beach volleyball. Greta Cicolari was born, and lives in Bergamo; and amazingly, the 29 year old only started playing the sport three years ago. The other young woman, Marta Menegatti, is from the Veneto, and is only 21 years old. She grew up idolizing Misty May. Cicolari and Menegatti gave a pretty good account of themselves, but May and Walsh were always one or two steps ahead of them.

There are many great athletes from the Cisalpine north, and they always do very well in the Olympics; but it was still nice to see a Lombardian woman competing on the top level last night. It's also inspiring to see any person take up a new passion and quickly excel at it. May and Walsh appear to be headed for their third gold, but the Brazilian team and the other American team are very good.


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