The women’s beach volleyball competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics wrapped up yesterday with Team USA defeating Team USA for the gold medal—Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings beat April Ross and Jennifer Kessey, earning their third consecutive gold medal.
Of course, now that beach volleyball is all done, there’s pretty much no reason to go on living, let alone watching the Olympics. But don’t fret. In order to help ease you back into your regular, Olympic beach volleyball-less existence, we’ve put together an epic list of the photographic highlights from this year’s competition.
So go grab a snack, cue up Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You,” and get ready to see some rad photos.
I’m no volleyball expert, but that looks like great form.
I’m just going to warn you: there will be many photos of Elsa Baqueriza McMillan on this list. I hope you don’t mind.
Teammates don’t shake hands. Teammates gotta hug.
Canada’s Marie-Andree Lessnard and Annie Martin have to watch Britain’s Zara Dempney and Shauna Mullin hug it out.
Because the women actually playing the matches in bikinis aren’t enough, they also have cheerleader-like Beach Girls to entertain the crowd.
This is one of the four Russian players from the tournament. Unfortunately, I can’t identify her.
Great Britain’s Zara Dampney was a big hit with the photographers this year. Big hit.
Laura Ludwig is rocking the pants.
You gotta love those alliterative Italian names.
There are those Beach Girls again. They know how to entertain a crowd.
She’s totally focused.
Here’s a nice close-up of Team Germany’s hand signals.
That’s some good form.
It’s the Brazilian happy dance.
Kind of looks like she’s doing yoga, doesn’t it?
We have seen Marta Menegatti before.
I did warn you that we’d be seeing a lot of Elsa.
Here’s a nice action shot of the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova going up against Brazil’s Talita Rocha.
That Larissa is a real asset to the team. (Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week!)
Just Elsa and Liliana heading to the dressing room. No big deal.
In case you were wondering, there were apparently 2 dudes on the Olympic beach volleyball cheerleading crew. Not that anyone was looking at them.
Here’s eventual silver medalist Marleen Kessey watching to see what happens to her spike against Spains Baquerizo and Fernandez.
So Germany’s Laura Ludwig is pretty fit.
So graceful, aren’t they?
Awww, they’re so happy.
Why do the photographers always cut of their heads?
See what I mean? Always cutting off their heads. It’s like they really like sexy backsides or something.
Here’s another classy shot.
OMG! What are those round things? Oh, right. They’re heads.
No idea who this is, but I’m a big fan.
I thin she is shouting “BJEEEEH!”…which is pronounced “YEAAAH” and is Flemish for “Yeaaah.”
The Italians didn’t get anywhere near the podium, but they sure looked good losing.
What are we going to do for the next four years without Elsa Baquerizo?
More beach yoga from Brazil’s Talita.
Have you even heard of this country?
Those are some pretty good beach bodies for a country that prefers its sports on ice.
Who liked chiseled abs?
How does the photographer explain this shot to his wife?
“But honey, I was taking a picture of their hand signals!”
Appropriate responses to photos of this woman include “wow,” “holy crap,” “humanuh humanuh,” and “wowoooga.”
Golly those photographers really are obsessed with beach volleyball hand signals.
I’m no geography major, but I think they just made up this country so they’d have an excuse to put these two women in the tournament. (Sure, there’s an entry for “Maurisius” in Wikipedia, but anybody can edit that. I’m not buying it.)
That’s a nice dig.
Chen Xue makes me a big fan of Chinese beach volleyball.
This is why I couldn’t figure out who that mystery Russian was from #45. There were four players in the tournament, and of them had blonde hair and blue eyes.
Who needs the volleyball. Just make sexy beach cheerleading an olympic sport.
This is Liliana Fernandez of Team Spain. God love her.
Pats on the butt: they’re not just for burly football players anymore.
And at #1 we have another amazing shot of Liliana Fernandez of Spain. You’re welcome.