U.S. wins first ever women’s indoor volleyball gold

TOKYO — Jordan Larson rose, and wound up, and a little before 3 p.m. here at the Ariake Arena on Sunday, she spiked both a volleyball and a decades-long drought to the floor.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team had come close to Olympic glory in the past. They’d never won gold. Until now. Larson’s winner finished off a three-set sweep of Brazil, who’d beaten the U.S. in gold medal matches in 2008 and 2012.

Larson fell to her knees. Players rushed to the floor to join her, embracing on the court. Head coach Karch Kiraly broke down into tears. When, minutes later, he gathered them as a group for the postgame huddle he and they had always dreamed of, he gave the brief postgame speech he’d always dreamed of.

«I told them not only are they bad asses,” he said, “but they are now GOLD MEDALISTS!»

Kiraly, a legend himself with three Olympic golds — two indoor, one beach — took on coaching duties for the U.S. women’s team following the 2012 Olympics. They took bronze in Rio, the second bronze to go along with three silvers for the women. Gold, however, still eluded them … until Tokyo. 

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