The 2012 London Olympics women's beach volleyball finals will earn Team USA a gold medal and a silver medal. China's still in competition for the bronze medal, but this is probably gristle enough for medal count hounds like your correspondent. The guarantee of national fame and fortune should allow us to focus, for a moment, on the actual narrative of the event and its athletes. The two American teams here are the all-time greats (and still undefeated in the Olympics) Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, looking for a third gold medal, and April Ross and Jen Kessy, who just beat the No. 1-ranked Brazilians and are in their first Olympics.
This isn't a passing of the torch scenario—Jen Kessy is the same age as Misty May-Treanor. It's a weird, fascinating contest between a team that's a win away from cinching a full share Olympics immortality and a team that's startled the beach volleyball world on its way from this website to its one chance at gold.
For constant updates on the 2012 Olympics in general and beach volleyball in particular, take a look at the national SB Nation Olympics hub.