Lausanne, Switzerland, April 1, 2019 - In a March 28 article on TeamUSA.org by freelance contributor Alex Abrams, it was written that American Olympian Phil Dalhausser was "contemplating whether to retire from beach volleyball to spend more time with his two young children and his wife, Jennifer. After all, he didn’t have much else to prove in the sport."
What Dalhausser has proved since the start of his international beach volleyball career in 2004 includes capturing Olympic and World Championship gold medals along with being honoured as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour's most outstanding player four times (2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017) along with receiving post-season awards 26 times in seven other categories.
In Abrams' article, "Dalhausser admitted he was close to retiring a few months ago. He wasn’t enjoying volleyball or being away from his family for almost five months during the year."
But Abrams wrote that Dalhausser's wife Jennifer "intervened." Dalhausser said he "was kind of talking to myself in the kitchen (in Orlando, Florida) like, ‘What is my purpose in life?’ and blah, blah, blah”. I said I guess it’s playing volleyball, and my wife goes, ‘You’ve got to be an idiot if you don’t think it’s playing volleyball.’ And I was like I guess you’re right.”
Right was Dalhausser's wife and the "Thin Beast" and his partner Nick Lucena regained their winning ways earlier this month in Qatar where the pair of 39-year-old players placed second in Doha after finishing ninth, fifth, ninth and ninth in their previous four FIVB World Tour events.
Silver medals in Doha for Phil Dalhausser (left) and Nick Lucena
Ranked 30th currently in the World Tour rankings, Dalhausser and Lucena have probably qualified for the FIVB World Championships as the United States is guaranteed at least one spot from June 28-July 7 in Germany after earning a berth via the country's NORCECA rankings.
Dalhausser and Lucena have combined to play in 217 FIVB World Tour events together with 34 events where the Americans have captured nine gold medals, played in 16 finales, placed on the podium 18 times and competed in 19 final four with 27 elite eight finishes. They have compiled a 159-41 match mark together (79.5 percent) with US$679,500 in earnings.
Individually, Dalhausser ranks No. 3 all-time in men's gold medals behind legendary Brazilians Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos with 38 titles. In 114 FIVB events with five different partners, Dalhausser has played in more World Tour men's events than any other American with a match record of 563-138 (80.3 percent).
Only Emanuel and Ricardo have placed on more World Tour podiums than Dalhausser, who has compiled 38 golds, 16 silvers and 13 bronzes. Emanuel has 154 medals (76 golds, 37 silvers and 41 bronzes). Ricardo has totaled 109 medals with 55 golds, 31 silvers and 23 bronzes.
While Dalhausser/Lucena's partnership is tied for 16th all-time in team's men's medals, Dalhausser's pairing with Todd Rogers produced the second-most podium placements for a pair behind the Emanuel/Ricardo tandem. Dalhausser and Rogers claimed 40 medals (23 golds, 7 silvers and 10 bronzes) as compared to the 58 captured by Emanuel and Ricardo (33 golds, 12 silvers and 12 bronzes).
Phil Dalhausser (left) greets Emanuel Rego at the 2016 FIVB World Tour event in Rio. The two legends met 26 times on the World Tour with Dalhausser winning 15 times with gold medal meetings tied 5-5.
As Dalhausser makes a bid for his fourth Olympic berth after finishing ninth at London 2012 with Rogers and fifth at Rio 2016 with Lucena, Abrams' article noted that the "Thin Beast" would be "40 when the Tokyo Games begin. While that would make him one of the older athletes competing in Japan, he realizes it’s not unheard of for a beach volleyball player to keep winning at that age."
Abrams wrote that "Brazilian legend Emanuel Rego was approaching 40 when he earned the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics. Lucena, too, will turn 40 before Tokyo." Abrams quoted Dalhausser as saying "it’s pretty cool to win gold in general, but to do it at 40 is even cooler.”
At the end of the article, Abrams wrote "so as Dalhausser was doing his soul-searching and coming close to retiring, did Lucena say anything to try to talk his partner out of it and get him back onto the court?"
Phil Dalhausser (left) and Nick Lucena
Abrams quoted Dalhausser in saying “he probably said a lot of stuff, but it went on deaf ears. It was definitely just a decision between my wife and I.”
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