Got all that? It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for Olympic aficionados to salivate over next year’s potential matchup of China and the United States in the biggest women’s professional sport you never knew existed if you’ve spent your entire life in the United States: women’s volleyball. It’s a pro sport just about everywhere but in the good ol’ U.S. of A., where the NCAA rules mean that women athletes have to basically re-learn the sport when they make the jump from college to the international game. China’s 1984 Olympic darling, Lang Ping, is the coach for Team USA – and her hand-picked protege is the coach for Team China. That makes it one of the best matchups you’ll see in Beijing – if both teams are at their best.
This week both the Chinese and American teams are battling it out in Macau – and next week they go to Ningbo, China, for the FIVB World Grand Prix finals, where Lang Ping is regularly recognized on the street as a national hero. I love a country where the most famous Olympic superstar of the last quarter-century is a woman (and a classy, fun, 6’2″ woman to boot). That’s just plain cool.
U.S. Women’s Team Swept By China (USA Volleyball)