Beijing Vibe: Beach Volleyball


Imagine 12,000 screaming fans, the best volleyball players in the world with beach girls dancing in the sand and the first thing that comes to mind is California or an AVP Tour stop. But no, you would be wrong, this was the setting for the Summer Games Beach Volleyball.

The beach volleyball venue was located in Chaoyang Park, a very serene and beautiful park with a small lake in the middle, about 30 minutes from The Village.

Although some negativity surrounded how the Summer Games would be run leading up to 8.8.08, organizers did something spot-on with beach volleyball. They let the sport be itself and not take any of the fun-loving or loose approach that all beach volleyball fans have come to love over the years.

The stadium court was full of visual eye candy with two huge projection screens atop the second deck and the organizers allowed the beach girls to wear what they want, which was practically nothing at all.

Many Chinese had caught the beach volleyball bug. Spectators on the lower deck could be seen dancing along with the beach girls during every timeout, middle-aged fathers leading cheers with their Thunderstix, and entire families watching intently during the long rallies.

The beach girls could have been the most popular performers at the Summer Games. Their skimpy bikinis were something one needed to witness in person. And not to be left out, Oakley’s Phil Dalhausser and his partner Todd Rodgers showcased their amazing talents as well, taking home the men’s gold medal.

In the end beach volleyball could quite possibly have been the number destination of the summer games spectators alongside the Bird’s Nest.


Matt Murray


August 26, 2008

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