Kerri Walsh

Her nickname, “six feet of sunshine” aptly sums it up.

Her nickname, “six feet of sunshine” aptly sums it up.

Pro beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh brings to her beloved sport an enthusiasm and intensity, combined with a geniality and exuberance that illuminates the court. This two-time Olympic gold medalist has dominated women’s volleyball, racking up wins and shattering records. Yet beyond her accomplishments and accolades, Kerri is far more than a mere champion. As her nickname suggests, she is vivacious, warm-hearted and beloved, on and off the court.

Kerri and her husband Casey Jennings, also a pro-volleyball player, made the South Bay their home in 2002. “This is Mecca for beach volleyball, so we wanted to be surrounded by the best in our sport,” she said. “For me, living at the beach has a dual purpose. It’s my job. I can compete, stay healthy and fit, and play in the sport I’ve loved since I was a young girl. As a family, we can cruise, hang out and see beautiful things.  What’s not to love?” This is especially true since Kerri and Casey welcomed their son, Sundance, this May, the day before this portrait was shot and three days before their eldest son Joey’s first birthday.

“My family has a strong support group in the South Bay. We’re surrounded by love and friendship. There’s a feeling of community,” Kerri said. “Great schools, family orientation, good friends, and a healthy lifestyle are reasons why we love living here.”

As for the 2012 Olympics, Kerri shared, “It’s a big goal and dream, for both my husband and me, to compete in London. We want to travel as a family, and we want to win it all. I would like to earn a gold medal as a mom.”