Dalhausser looking ahead to Olympics
ORLANDO, United States, May 6, 2020 – Phil Dalhausser knows a
thing or two about beach volleyball at the Olympic Games. A gold
medallist at the Beijing 2008 Games, the American blocker also
competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and is currently aiming to
qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Dalhausser, who turned 40 earlier this year, won gold in Beijing
with former partner Todd Rogers, with whom he finished ninth
four years later in London. He joined forces with longtime
friend Nick Lucena in 2015 and the duo made a push to the
quarterfinals in Rio, where they were ousted by eventual
champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt of Brazil.
One of the most experienced teams competing on the FIVB Beach
Volleyball World Tour, Dalhausser and Lucena have won nine gold
medals at the international level together. They are confident
they still have what it takes to top the podium in Tokyo in the
summer of 2021, but they believe it will be harder than ever to
“I definitely think we can win gold,” Dalhausser said during an
online meeting with former American volleyball players Kevin
Wong and Chris Marlowe. “But it will be harder than the last
three Olympics I’ve been a part of just because the depth on the
men’s side is just crazy. Norway and Russia are dominating in
such a strong way, but there are so many good teams out there.
But I think it’s something we can do, for sure.”
Dalhausser and Lucena, who is also 40, are feeling the
competitive level of the World Tour as they try to qualify for
Tokyo. The Americans are currently ranked below fellow USA teams
Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb and Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb in the
Provisional Olympic ranking.
With the postponement of the Games to 2021, one thing the
veterans are trying to do is improve their fitness levels so
they can be at their best when competition resumes, even if they
live four hours apart in Florida.
“Father-time is not on our side because Nick and I are both 40
and that adds another year to us,” Dalhausser, who’s nicknamed
‘The Thin Beast’, said. “But we both have full gyms in the
garage, so we’re both lifting and doing cardio. We’ll be
stronger and hopefully in better shape and that could be an
advantage for us.”
One thing that will certainly be an advantage to the veterans is
the way they approach major challenges at this point in their
careers. Experience brings a certain degree of serenity as they
put in place their bid to contend for a medal.
Dalhausser, who has amassed 97 tournament victories in his
career including on the World Tour and the American AVP,
explained how his mindset in the sport has shifted with time
spent on the sand.
“Ten years ago I probably thought all of that was really cool,”
he said about keeping track of his own records. “Every time I
won a tournament I’d look at the list and check if I was
catching up with whoever was at the top, but now I don’t really
care that much. Of course I’m nearing 100 tournament wins and
that would be nice to have, but I know that even though the main
goal is to win a medal in Tokyo, life won’t be over if we