Defending world champions of beach volleyball Phil "The Thin Beast" Dalhausser, a 3-time visitor to Saipan for our annual Marianas Cup, and Todd "The Pride of Solvang" Rogers, who now resides in the small town that my Mom has called home for over 25 years, beat Brazil to win the men's Olympic beach volleyball gold medal this past Friday in Beijing.
The best two-out-of-three game match went the distance with Phil completely taking over the deciding third game. He blocked at least six balls, three in a row in a stretch that put the match away and then fittingly, clamped the same Brazil player that he had all game, for match point 15-4.
So now I can stand on Saipan's highest peak and shout "I beat a gold medalist!"
We've been very fortunate to have a player of Phil's caliber, and now international athletic fame, come to Saipan for our annual tournament. Even better, in a day where professional athletes sport multi-million dollar contracts, big attitudes and large appearance fee requirements, Phil comes out here for airfare and hotel only because he digs Saipan, and he is just a real nice, down-to-earth guy.
A big congratulations to Phil and Todd from your friends on Saipan! Be sure to bring your gold medal next year!
Here's a good shot of Phil bombing one straight down on Paul and I in our semifinal match this past February at Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
February 24, 2008 : Baxter, Steele Top Marianas Cup.