If you thought you saw Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor in Del Mar and Sorrento Valley Tuesday you were right.
The Long Beach resident is no stranger to San Diego. The beaches are just a jump on the Amtrak from Anaheim near her home with husband, professional baseball player Matt Treanor.
She practiced at Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas while training for what would soon become her third Olympic gold medal with longtime partner Kerri Walsh in London 2012.
On Tuesday, she returned to San Diego and visited Dog Beach and Coast Volleyball as part of a photo shoot for Spalding.
Having just completed her Master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration last month, May-Treanor wanted to talk about her new focus - her passion for coaching girls in volleyball.
“I’m very excited about working with the next generation,” she said.
“It’s the young players who are going to keep the game alive.”
May-Treanor isn't likely to return to Olympic competition. She said she has other plans off the court. Among them, she and her husband want to start a family.
Also, she wants to help encourage the next champion team the way she was helped by many of the sport’s greats.
She mentioned Karolyn Kirby who dominated the sport in the early 1990’s, Liz Masakayan who competed in 1988 in Seoul and three-time Olympian Holly McPeak as among those who paved the way for her success.
“I watched those women for years just grind it out and they helped elevate the sport,” she said. “Kerri and I just took it and ran with it. So it’s really been a group effort.”
May-Treanor’s “Dream in Gold Junior Clinics” will be held throughout the year at several cities across the U.S. in connection with Spalding.
She sees her job now as getting kids ready to compete at a higher level so they can take advantage of some of the sand volleyball scholarships being offered at four-year universities.
“When beach volleyball got into the Olympics in 1996, do you think they were thinking it would become a collegiate sports? Probably not. But it’s come so far,” she said.