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AP Photo/Petr David Josek
Kerri Walsh Jennings' very first Olympic beach volleyball match was on her 26th birthday. She and partner Misty May won that day at the Athens Games of 2004, so her Olympic record _ obviously _ improved to 1-0 that day.
She turned 38 on Monday.
And her record is still perfect.
In a match that started at midnight local time _ so technically on her birthday _ Walsh Jennings and April Ross beat Taliqua Clancy and Louise Bawden of Australia 2-0 early Monday. Walsh Jennings has played in 26 Olympic matches in her career, and won them all.
"We rose to the challenge," said Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist. "I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my birthday."
Next up for Walsh Jennings and Ross is a semifinal showdown Tuesday against Brazil's world champions, Agatha and Barbara. Another Brazilian team could await the U.S. squad in the final, if they win the semi.
So the crowds are obviously very pro-Brazil _ but it's not unanimous. Members of the U.S. men's basketball team, including Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan are clearly big beach fans and haven't been shy about cheering for Walsh Jennings and Ross.
Walsh Jennings celebrates with U.S, men's basketball Olympians, from left, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan and Draymond Green early Monday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
"Those to me are the best athletes in the world, basketball players," Walsh Jennings said. "They play at the highest level most consistently. Every time I caught a glimpse they were so in it, and after we won they seemed so proud. I loved that they aren't above the Olympics. They are here and they are prideful and they appreciate our country and it makes me really proud."
Walsh Jennings is one of 33 athletes at the Rio Games celebrating a birthday Monday _ and one of 558 in all to have a birthday during the Olympiad.