Lausanne, Switzerland, May 16, 2016 – It has been a memorable four years for Jennifer Kessy and with Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games drawing ever nearer she is growing confident of booking her place on Copacabana Beach.
Unlike four years ago when she and long-time partner April Ross won London 2012 silver, this time she is paired with Emily Day and pressing hard for a place at Rio 2016 under the tutelage of coach Jose Loiola.
Currently they are just outside the top 15 that will qualify from the FIVB Olympic rankings and which features two other US teams; Ross and three-time champion Kerri Walsh and Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, who lead Kessy and Day by 430 points with three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour events remaining before the ranking qualifiers are known on June 13.
“We’re definitely peaking and getting better,” Kessy said. “Now we have hit our stride and are definitely playing better and better and better going into the Olympics.
“We just need a couple of good finishes and I think we can do it.”
The biggest change for Kessy since she stood on the podium at Horse Guard’s Parade was the arrival of her first child, daughter Aila Anne with partner and former France player Andy Ces.
Pregnancy meant that she missed the entire 2014 season, but she returned to the World Tour midway through 2015 and made an instant impact when they reached the Moscow Grand Slam quarterfinals.
She puts it down to having a new burst of energy since becoming a mother and the pair have so far added bronze from the 2015 Antalya Open to their collections.
Kessy admits that she intends to retire from international competition after Rio 2016, which means the Olympics could provide a final swansong for the 2009 FIVB world champion.
“Being a professional volleyball player is hard. I was tired and I needed to rest a lot,” Kessy said. “Now being a mom and being a professional volleyball player, it is truly amazing what your body can do and what your mind can do. When you think you’re tired you just keep going and you never sit down, that’s kind of my life.
“My husband and I met on the FIVB Tour when he played for France. We have it in my genes and she has it in his genes and we would love her to play volleyball. We would be very happy with whatever she does as long as she’s passionate about it like we are.”