Huntington Beach and Kiraly


Today I’m watch­ing the AVP tour, es­pe­cially (as al­ways) Karch{.}. This year is his last and I’m try­ing to go and see him as much as I can. Karch is an idol for my gen­er­a­tion of beach vol­ley play­ers. Well, it is an idol for all gen­er­a­tions re­ally

He loses one, he wins one. The day is about to end but he still has to play against Lambo. The sun is go­ing down, it is the last match of the day. The crowd gath­ers around the court. As al­ways it is not easy to put him down. He plays with Wong, an­other vet­eran of the AVP tour. The other team serves him short to force him to move for­ward and then back­ward again to pre­pare his at­tack. It is a smart strat­egy, Karch’s legs and not what they used to be 20 years ago

But he goes on, finds new and in­ter­est­ing ways to over­come a block that is way higher than his max­i­mum one hand reach. Sometimes it feels as if the block is his friend and Lambo starts to lower his hands not to give him that tool to play with. But the short serves are wear­ing him down and the match is go­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, he pro­duces an amaz­ing strong hit. Something Rosy could have done. The crowd goes bal­lis­tic. Everybody laughs and cheers. Even the other team is laugh­ing. Karch raises his hands smil­ing as to say: I have no idea where that one came from. But maybe he does, be­cause it hap­pens again the very next side out. It looks like some­thing good might still hap­pen. But then he misses the last shot. He tries to hit the line, but the ball is far from the net and his jump is what it is.

We give him a two min­utes stand­ing ova­tion. This is the last time Huntington beach has seen him play. He waives his prover­bial pink hat to salute the crowd. He sits down

and he takes the head in his hands. After three Olympic medals, un­counted cham­pi­onships, thou­sand of beach vol­ley wins and a two min­utes stand­ing ova­tion he is not happy. He missed the last ball.


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