Beach volleyball player April Ross made her Olympic debut at the London Summer Games 2012, but she has been bumping, tuning and tipping for more than 20 years. During his time at the University of Southern California, Ross led the women’s indoor volleyball team to back-to-back national championship titles, while also coaching with the indoor U.S. Women’s National Team. After graduation, she took her talents to Puerto Rico, where she played for three years and suffered serious injuries to her knees and shoulders. She returned home to Orange County, CA, in 2006, shopping in her indoor volleyball shoes for sand and a two-piece. The rest is history.

Ross spent the next six years dominating beach volleyball with partner Jennifer Kessy. Together, they won 30 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) medals, 10 of which are gold. The duo continued to compete at their very first Olympics in 2012, taking home the silver. In 2013, their partnership ended, and Ross joined three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings. At the Olympics in Rio 2016, they won bronze.

The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo are just around the corner and Ross is in full preparation mode. She will hit the sand this summer with Olympic newcomer Alix Klineman, with whom she began playing in 2018. In the short time they have partnered, Ross and Klineman have proven that they are a strength to be reckoned with. We’re excited to see the pair compete in Tokyo, but until then, keep reading for some fun facts you may not know about this two-time Olympic medal.