Team USA’s stunning volleyball victory over Brazil on Sunday to capture its first gold medal ever leaves a mark on Olympic history for players and coaches alike.
The victory makes U.S. coach Karch Kiraly the second person to win gold as a volleyball player and then lead a country to gold as a coach.
Kiraly won gold indoor as a player in 1984 and 1988. He also won gold in beach volleyball in 1996.
“It was more powerful in some ways for me today than when I was a player, because the first Olympics I played in, we won,” said Kiraly, who previously led Team USA to a bronze in Rio. “We didn’t come close and lose, come close and lose, come close and fall short. It makes it taste and feel much more special when you go through the hard times.”
Following the gold medal game, Kiraly and middle blocker Haleigh Washington spoke together in a candid courtside interview.
“Not only are they badasses,” said Kiraly. “But they are now gold medalists!”
Watch the full interview here:
"Not only are they badasses, but they are now GOLD MEDALISTS!"Hear from coach Karch Kiraly and Haleigh Washington after winning GOLD! #TokyoOlympics x @USAVolleyball x @TeamUSA x #OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/yUtR3rxWV9— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 8, 2021
"Not only are they badasses, but they are now GOLD MEDALISTS!"Hear from coach Karch Kiraly and Haleigh Washington after winning GOLD! #TokyoOlympics x @USAVolleyball x @TeamUSA x #OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/yUtR3rxWV9