Jake Gibb: What a cover!

August 19, 2008 by

Rosie’s cover at 18-17 and then the put away with the left hand was the play of our partnership. Man that was big! Instead of 18-18 it went to 19-17 and we scored the next 2 points for the win.

Man I felt like I was in a spinning daze cause every time I’d turn around Rosie had dug another ball and all I had to do was set him. He absolutely carried me. Sooo fun baby!

I seriously am having the time of my life right now. I expected a lot of pressure and emotion, but never that I would have this much fun.

Last night was the first full stadium we had for a match. USA Jai Yo!

That chant will be in my head for forever. Crowd is so loud and into it. I guess my brother John was leading a chant with the Chinese people saying ” Megua” and everyone would yell “jai yo! I can’t wait to get out there again. Two days is way too long. But then again I get to enjoy each victory to its fullest this way. I can’t believe how much I look forward to emails from friends and family about their impressions of the match or coverage we get.

I’m now sitting in the Hilton executive area where they have food and couches to lounge. We’re going to the silk district today to shop and just experience a bit of the Chinese bargaining skills. I got a tailor made suit from there two days ago and have to go in for another fitting today. Ok this is boring stuff but this is what we do on our days off.

Jake

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AVP Blog: Update …

August 18, 2008 by

Some good news … some bad news.

Unfortunately, USA Women’s team Nicole Branagh/Elaine Youngs were eliminated from Olympics competition as the Chinese defeated them in two games. With the hometown China crowd drowning any USA cheering at Chaoyang Park and a few service errors Nicole and EY will now be on the sidelines cheering on the rest of Team USA!

And some good news! In two games, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers advance to the semi-finals. In a close game 2, Phil and Todd put it away 24-22 making an all-Americal final that much more a reality. Stay tuned for updates from Gibb/Rosenthal later tonight!

Geeter: Phil and Todd are amazing!

August 17, 2008 by

Down 6-love in the 3rd to the Swiss!!!! That was riiiidiculous, I never ever would have thought that could ever happen to Phil and Todd….It did, and I didn’t think anyone could ever come back from
that….and they did. What a match for the ages, and who knows, maybe a defining moment in their careers…it all depend on where it goes from here.

Jake and Rosie were unreal last night, Beijing loves these guys…and why not, they are fun to watch, they play hard and have great chemisty…

Emanuel and Ricardo showed last night why they are champions. I’m telling you, the Russians had 4 match points against them and 2 swings for match and Ricardo stuffed them all. The amazing thing was Emanuel’s poise throught the whole thing. The guy looked unfazed and confident even when faced with elimination. The mens quarters with rosie/gibb vs emanuel/ricardo is going to be one for the ages. I’m picking the “Son of Jo-rel” and “The Big Nasty” 15-12 in the 3rd.

Tonight is gonna be nuts here in Beijing. Nicole and EY play China 2 and this place will be going nuts. There will 11,000 chineese and probably the rest will be red, white, and blue…I’m gonna do my part and take down the Chinese announcer and I feel the girls are ready.

I’mm having a great time here. There is so much pressure to these matches and if you are a volly fanatic, or just love sports in general, then the olympics is good times. I love calling these matches and being a part of it. I have had some people back home ask if I’m subdued here or held back a little. The answer is no, not subdued…I think. I’ve been out on the court and dancing and all that stuff, but it definitely is different. The protocal and rules make it a challenge for me. I have between 7 minutes and 3 minutes on the clock to get things going, then its ref announcements and player intros. During the match, the sound system is not to great, but the place definitely rocks. There are so many people raging that it really doesnt matter how you announce…The people are fired up. one thing ive learned is that olympics are all about the athletes and the matches. the beach volleyball venue is the place to be and it seems like everyone leaves loving it…the only bummer is having to explain everything each day because it’s mostly all new people. The best part is announcing to our players and fans and dropping in “AVP” dialogue…nobody in China gets it…or cares cause they are just yelling “ji yo” but our players love it so i will keep doing it.

On a little tast of beijing, its pretty amazing driving in a bus or taxi here. People on bikes and pedestrians walking are like 3rd class citizens at best. Cars ignore them and i’ve seen almost 500 people hit daily, but somehow they dont get hit. They are like those little birds in the road that nobody really cares about (sorry PITA)…you know the ones…they are tiny and in the street and you just drive. If you hit em, who cares, but somehow you always look back and they escaped…people on bikes and pedestrians walking are like that…amazing

Saw the Birds Nest and the Cube and some temples yesterday. Those were the local sites i saw with NBC cameraman Greg and husband of avp player Sarah Straton. It was unreal seeing some of these temples and having a coldie while chilling at the birds nest…all worth it.

Riding the train/subway is an experience (see youtube of guy shoving people into train by hitting with stick) and you will know what i mean. You really have to act like a fullback and lower your shoulder just to gain a few yards and get that first down. Getting off the train was a workout. I was crushing people with my huge AVP Crocs backpack…it just has to be done or you miss your stop.

Miss you kids, see you later, I’m off to announce Nic/EY vs china USA JI YO!
Geeter

AVP Blog: Day 8 update

August 16, 2008 by

Well, the first round of single elimination is over and all four American teams advance to the quarterfinals.

Yesterday, the world got to watch Kerri Walsh celebrate her 30th birthday in typical May/Walsh style as they defeated Belgium in their first round of single elimination play. It was a rocky beginning but Misty and Kerry found their groove and won in two straight. They will face Brazil’s Ana Paula and Larissa in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs saw similar success as they cruised past Cuba’s Fernandez/Larrea 21-15, 21-13. They move on to the quarterfinals to face China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. If they win
tomorrow, they will have to face a hometown again in the semi’s, this time Tian Jia/Wang.

On the men’s side, things were a little tougher. In a match too closer for comfort, the Swiss duo of Laciga/Schnider gave reigning world champions Dalhausser/Rogers a good fight after losing game 2, 21-16. After the game 2 loss, the Swiss found themselves with a 6-0 lead in Game 3. Just as quick as the Swiss gained their 6 point advantage, Phil and Todd rallied to take the lead and never gave it back. They won 15-13 and advance to the quarterfinals on Monday.

In similar fashion, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal went point for point against Spain’s Herrera/Mesa in game 1 but finally pulled the win 26-24. With Rosie’s Raiders, the Gibb clan, and fans chanting “Superman” and “Big Nasty”, Gibb/Rosenthal went on to finish the match in two games, knocking Spain out of play. Rosenthal lived up to his nickname as he recorded 10 digs against Spain. Gibb/Rosie advance to the semi-finals where they will face Brazil’s reigning gold medalists Ricardo/Emanuel. Neither team has to worry about a hometown advantage as China was eliminated by Germany this morning in two straight games.

Also this evening was Kerri Walsh’s 30th birthday party. Hosted by Lenovo, the party was a great chance for some of the Olympians take a break from volleyball and enjoy Beijing! Attendees included May-Treanor and Casey Jennings.

Phil Dalhausser: On a roller coaster

August 16, 2008 by

Well, it has been a roller coaster of emotions the past few days but Todd and I have found our groove and won’t stop until we bring home the gold. After our performance and outcome against Latvia in our first game of the Olympics, we have been playing pretty well and are No. 2 in our pool. We will begin single elimination tomorrow when we face the Swiss.

Outside of volleyball, I want to give you all a quick rundown of what’s been going on. Opening Ceremonies was such a great experience.

Being in a room and chatting with USA’s best athletes was a moment to remember. Kobe, LeBron, Dwight Howard, and Carmelo Anthony. Even though it was a long day and I was up on my feet for 8 or so hours the day before I played, it was definitely worth it. Todd and I have been trying to stick to a routine while we are here in Beijing. We work out at BNU (USOC’s workout facility) during the day, hang out at our hotel, and try to catch as much indoor and beach volleyball as we can. Last night, we went to a sushi party at the Oakley safehouse and today we are gearing up for our first match in bracket play.

I want to throw out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to fellow teammate Kerri Walsh!

GO USA!
Phil

Geeter: Bonding time with Kobe

August 15, 2008 by

What up??  great day today, women won first round and the men get ready for their round of 16 matches tomorrow morning…Im freaking nervous out here in Beijing.  I mean Belgium up 20-17 in game 1, I almost dropped the mic and had a heart attack.  However, as usual, the ladies found a way to climb back and crush them.  You have to give belgium some credit…I know that isn’t easy but they played great in game 1 and didnt make any mistakes…until 20-17, but it’s the olympics and im finding out that anything can happen.   EY and nicole gave cuba a complete meeching and that was good to see.  They played their game and were just flat out better than cuba.  Both China teams won and so did Brazil so it’s on in 2 days for the women.  We got ey/nicole taken on China’s number 2 team and kerri/misty taking on larissa ana-paula from brazil…if they win those, it’s medal time for both US teams.

The rest of the day ruled too.  I went with mike dodd, rosie, gibb, casey and his cousin, avp’s jackie, 8th street meet, raider ethan, chris schneider from hermosa and his gal jamie carrol, and PT kelly to “silk town” to buy suits.   What a site this was, all of us hacks bartering and dialoging with the chinese….absolutely classic.  It was a war, and in the end, they made some money, we think we got a great deal, and Meat got his first suit of his life at 28 years old…it was a banner day!

One of the coolest things to happen for me at the Games was hanging with Kobe the other day at the venue.  He was in a room watching a match after watching EY and Nicole play and I was in there with Kobe and his Nike buddy.  It was awesome, he was engaging and cool and into the volleyball.  We chatted lake show, the six man, and I name dropped Luke Walton and a couple of other guys to help my street cred.  I told him I always covered the visitors sideline during the laker games and that one day I was going to move up to the big time and get the lakers locker room…he said let him know what he can do to help…I don’t think he meant it but it would be funny to ask him for his help next season.  I was kind of glad he didn’t realize that I was the weirdo in the laker locker room before and after games that always listens to his press conference but never asks a question…kind of like a stalker.  I do the same thing with Phil, I just watch…kind of creepy, but you never know when im gonna get called from the visitor side to the home team.

Anyway, it’s 1 am, just skyped the wife and baby and now its off to bed and get ready for USA Men to meech some foools down.

Peace,
Geeter

Branagh: Cuba again

August 15, 2008 by

Ni hao!! I just wanted to send a quick hello from Beijing! We are having a great time here, the people are so friendly, and the venues are amazing, especially beach volleyball. We have had awesome crowds at all of our matches and it is so fun for me to have my family and friends here. They are having a blast. I have been able to hangout with them a little bit, but believe it or not our days get filled up quickly! I thought we would have more time to see other events and other stuff, but we have been pretty busy. We’ll see the last few days.

We finished our pool play last night with a tough match against Cuba.
With that win we won our pool 3-0. So, we waited for the draw to be announced and found out we will face Cuba tomorrow morning.

The fun and excitement continues. It is an honor to be here and an amazing feeling walking out on the court hearing people chant USA. We look forward to great games ahead for all US teams……..thank you for all the cheers and support! We can hear you all the way from the US!! Keep it comin’!

Nicole

Rogers: Interesting first week

August 15, 2008 by

Interesting first week in all kinds of different ways. Certainly from a playing standpoint it has not been exactly as Phil and I originally drew it up. Our first match vs. Latvia was a bit of a debacle from Phil and I’s standpoint. We played poorly, they played well, and the end result was a loss. We rebounded well in our next two matches by beating Switzerland and Argentina fairly handily. But because of our 1st loss, we ended up being second in our pool and will not be seeded 2nd overall but instead we will be anywhere from 10th – 12th in the draw. This of course means a much tougher 1st round match against the 5th, 6th, or 7th seed. We will find out tonight who we play.

A highlight of our week here has been meeting with President Bush not once but twice. 1st we met with him right before the opening ceremonies. That was of course with all the other American athletes that walked in the opening ceremonies. All the beach volleyball players took a team picture with the President and chatted with him a bit. Kerri told him to come to their practice and he was fired up about coming. Sure enough, the next day he showed up around 11am to watch Kerri and Misty practice. Phil and I were also practicing so he came and took some pictures and chatted it up with us. Pretty enjoyable watching all the guys and gals there be somewhat in awe and want their picture taken with the President.

Another very cool part about the Olympics is how often you run into some of the greatest athletes past and present. Working out and having lunch at the BNU (where the USOC is stationed) you get to see and meet amazing people and athletes. In the present there are all the basketball guys from the NBA. Working out next to Kobe is a bit of trip. Eating lunch with all the great American athletes and their coaches is amazing. Many of the coaches here are former Olympic greats having won gold medals over the past 40 years. As I have experienced this it has dawned on me why the Olympics are so special or at least an aspect of why they are so special. Where else will you ever see a gathering of athletes of this magnitude from the past and present and then get to interact with them. It is one thing to see it all on TV. It is another to say hello to them and then have them say “good job last night” to you is something special. You share this bond with NBA superstars and the guy you have never even heard of. In the end though, you are all Olympians and that is something that no one can take away from all of us.

AVP Blog: Day 7 update

August 15, 2008 by

First off, I want to take a moment to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KERRI WALSH!!!!!!

Pool Play wrapped up yesterday with 3 out of 4 of Team USA going undefeated. All of our teams advance to the single elimination round with May-Treanor/Walsh and EY/Nicole playing today. Tomorrow, Phil/Todd will play Switzerland’s Martin Laciga and Jan Schnider (9am Beijing)…if and when they win, they will face the hometown duo of Wu Penggen and Xu Linyin in the quarterfinals.

Unlucky for Brazil, both of their women’s teams are on Misty/Kerri’s side of the bracket. Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Ana Paula Connelly will face May-Treanor/Walsh in the quarterfinals. The No.2 seed will be the toughest team Misty/Kerri will face in the Beijing Olympics.

Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal earned the No. 6 seed after coming out of pool play undefeated. It was a close one last night as they went to their first Game 3 to come out on top 18-16. Tomorrow, they will face Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Emanuel Rego of Brazil (8pm Beijing). If and when Jake and Rosie win, they will face reigning Olympic gold medalists Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego of Brazil.

All of the American teams (women and men) will not face each other until the gold medal match on August 22….Hopefully we see a repeat of the Atlanta Olympic Games!

Jake Gibb: Getting in a groove

August 14, 2008 by

Now that was a fun match! We could have set each other better, but besides that we played a really solid game. I’m not being anal, just always want to improve. MD’s words before the match: “You’re gonna remember every game for the rest of your life so go out there and celebrate every good play. He said don’t worry about wasting energy by celebrating..the energy will be there…you’ll find it.”
I felt like we played solid defense and that’s what won us the match.

It felt like we were touching most every hit of the Germans. Our side out game is usually pretty good so when we can cover the whole court well we can cause teams problems. They had some really loud German fans. I am amazed with how many USA flags there are in the stands though. It is so fun to see all the support.

The Hilton is insane. We moved in here right before opening ceremonies. The have this killer executive lounge with couches, food 24/7, and flat screens with Olympics being played. Our rooms are brand new and perfect to get full nights of sleep. Jane has been coming over every few nights for “conjugal visits” (as Geeter n MD call em). I like staying alone for the most part though just to remind myself why I am here and stay focussed. The toughest part of it all has got to be the mental side. 2 days between each game is a long time to remain focussed and ready.