Volleyball Champ Misty May-Treanor: “After This Olympics, It’s Kids All the Way”

With beach-volleyball partner Kerri Walsh Jennings, Misty May-Treanor won her third gold medal in the London Olympics. She hopes her next training is parenthood. An edited version of our phone interview with her follows

by Ilyssa Panitz • More.com Celebrity Reporter
misty may-treanor image
Misty May-Treanor and her husband, Matt Treanor, look forward to their alone-time together.
Photograph: Cynthia Lum/Stouffer's

More: OK, let’s get right into it. You’re an amazing athlete who wears a bathing suit to work. The rest of us would be horrified to be so attired in front of millions of people. Are you at all self-conscious?
Misty May-Treanor: I have a weight that I am comfortable with and maintain for when I am playing. It takes time to develop that. I have a tendency to go into my playing season a tad heavier than normal because I tend to lean down during the season.

More: Do you find people focus more on your body than the sport?
MMT: Not so much. I have been asked, Do you think the bathing suits bring more people to the tournaments? My response is that we grew up playing in bathing suits because they were functional for our sport. [Teammate] Kerri Walsh and I have very different body types. She is thin and tall, whereas I am more bulky and muscular.

More: So you are happy with what you see?
MMT: I feel great, and when you feel great, it builds confidence. Everyone is different, and I have a different body type than most people. You can’t have an image of what you think you want because then you will never be happy with yourself. I feel strong, and I do what I need to do on the court.

More: What is it like competing in the Olympics?
MMT: It is a lot of hard work and dedication, but what an honor, too. This is our third one together. It is so special because not everyone has that opportunity to compete on that platform.

More: What’s the pressure like, knowing you are representing the United States, with billions of people watching you?
MMT: [Laughs.] It's fun. We welcome it.

More: When you think about it, you and Kerri are like a married couple. How else could you rise to the top?
MMT: Right. That comes from experience together and communication, which I strongly believe is the key.

More: Was it instant chemistry between you and Kerri?
MMT: I think it was. The first year we were together, we only won one event, but the potential was there. We just had to keep working hard for it to come together.

More: Did you feel the pressure to pursue volleyball since it was prominent in your household?
MMT: No, because my mom was a tennis player. Tennis was the other sport. I actually loved soccer but kept going with volleyball.

More: You just made reference to your childhood. Might we be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet soon?
MMT: Absolutely. We would love to. After this Olympics, it’s kids all the way!

More: How exciting.
MMT: We tried before and nothing happened. I guess it wasn’t meant to be at that time. I guess there was a bigger plan, and things happen when they are supposed to. When I finish the Olympics and get my master’s in coaching and athletic administration, everything will come at the right time. Kids, though, are the number-one priority.

More: How many children are we talking about?
MMT: More than one. I grew up as an only child. I mean, I did have two half-brothers, but they were much older and lived with their mom. I always wondered what it would be like to have a brother or a sister. But as much as I would like more than one child, as long as I get one healthy one, I will be happy.

More: So what’s this we hear about a partnership with Stouffer’s?
MMT: When I was growing up, I remember being at my grandparents’ house every Sunday night and eating dinner with my cousins. While those memories are near and dear to my heart, what really sparked my attention was how Stouffer’s wants you to take a time-out in life and spend time with your significant other over dinner. They want couples to reconnect—and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to eat?

More: Are you guilty as charged?
MMT: I think everyone is on the go so much. People have to work more and juggle their kids' schedules, which tends to make it difficult to spend alone-time. It is easy to get lost in the game of life.

First Published March 9, 2012

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