Summer Olympic Games 1996 – 2012
Beach volleyball has had some incredible venues in its short Olympic history, including Bondi Beach and London’s Horse Guards Parade. But this year, it will visit Copacabana.
So popular is it, the largest television audience in Brazil during the 2008 Beijing Games was for a men’s quarter-final match. Brazil could be said to be the sport’s second home.
But its first home is California. Of fourteen athletes who have contributed nine medals for the United States, all but one grew up in one of four counties on the South Coast of the state. Three of them (plus one losing semi-finalist) are from Manhattan Beach, site of the long-running Manhattan Beach Open. Few regions are as dominant in any sport.
Next: The leading countries in water polo include some particularly fierce local rivals