Should she need extra motivation when it’s time to get back on her grind (unlikely for a world-class athlete, but just in case), she can reflect on that winning moment this past August in Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park.
As temps climbed over 90 degrees, she and Klineman—known to fans as the A Team—steadily toppled their competition, culminating in straight set wins over Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in the gold medal match.
Despite entering as favorites, “All the way through the Games, every team we went up against, we were really nervous and we respected every single team and knew that they were a threat,” said Ross. “So we took it so seriously and the fact that we were able to get through the Olympics so successfully and then kind of dominate, I guess, in the final match against a team that we’ve had a ton of trouble with in the past, it was just hard to wrap my mind around that.”
As she and Klineman embraced in the sand, “I think the number one thing we kept saying after the fact, was, ‘I can’t believe we just did that,'” Ross continued. “For me, I think as time has gone on a little bit, it’s been really fun to just reflect on how crazy it is that I was able to get my gold medal on my third try and at 39 years old, and I just hope that maybe that inspires other people to continue chasing their dreams.”