We see them every four years, these sun-kissed, muscle-bound athletes, shirtless or bikini-clad. How glamorous it must be, to live the life of a professional beach volleyball player, for your office to reside west of the Pacific Coast Highway. Kings of the beach, they were called once, these professional beach volleyball players. And indeed, they lived up to the name - sponsors! Endorsements! Commercials! Millions in prize money. Icons to a rebel culture.
Yet when the Summer Olympics come to a close, beach volleyball disappears from the public eye, and what the rest of the world fails to see once again becomes reality: It is a remarkable struggle, a wondrous grind, to live the life of a professional beach volleyball player. It is cramming six to a one-bedroom apartment, of sleeping under piers before tournaments, of stealing sandwiches from the players' tent to save an extra buck.
It is the pressure of winning a tournament just to make rent or, for that matter, just to afford the next meal. It is flying to a tournament in Shanghai, not knowing if you’ll be able to feed your wife and newborn when you return, all in the hopes of keeping the beach dream alive.
Featuring interviews and arresting accounts of more than 100 beach volleyball players, award-winning writer and professional beach volleyball player Travis Mewhirter tells the stories, for the first time, of the modern player, lifting the curtain for the inside story of life as a professional beach volleyball player and the pursuit of being a king of the beach once more.