Lausanne, Switzerland, October 8, 2020 - Reid Priddy reminisces about his illustrious volleyball career, while brainstorming on how he can raise his game on the beach at age 43.
It was like old times again for Reid Priddy as he reunited with his longtime USA Volleyball teammate David Lee at the recent AVP Champions Cup Series.
“I know that he could be a very dominant force in the beach game,” Priddy says. “We spent the winter training with the beach national team and made a lot of progress.
“When Long Beach came on the radar, it was one of those things where we had to play because it was so close,” says the southern California resident.
Priddy and Lee partnered for three consecutive socially distanced tournaments in July and early August, although they were unable to advance past the qualifiers.
“Even not qualifying, we were able to make a few bucks, but we knew we weren’t in our peak form,” Priddy says of the Long Beach events. “We knew it was going to be a humbling experience, which it was, but it was very motivating for a strong off-season.”
The four-time Olympian also discusses life on the California beaches during the pandemic, his full-time transition from indoor to beach following the Rio 2016 Games, winning the 2019 Manhattan Beach Open alongside Trevor Crab and other career highlights in a wide-ranging interview.
A two-time Olympic medallist, Priddy fondly reminisced about the improbable journey, along with U.S. teammates, to winning a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Reid Priddy on his way to winning gold with USA at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“Hugh McCutcheon became head coach in 2005 and he led us through a mission statement exercise and for two days we actually articulated, and I have it on my wall, the statement, that said that 'Our goal is to win in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and this is how we intend to do it.'”
In 2005, nobody in the world put us as the trending team that would overcome.
“Winning was just the culmination of a lot of sweat, a lot of hard work, tears and blood.”
The 3-1 upset victory over Brazil in the final marked the first Olympic gold medal for USA Volleyball in 20 years.
Priddy, who resides in Huntington Beach with his wife Lindsay and children Caden and Eden, says he can’t wait for the day when he can once again travel and return to overseas competition. In addition to nearly two decades as a member of the U.S. National Team, the globetrotting outside hitter has also played for club teams in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia and South Korea.
“I look forward to the time when I can be hopping on a plane again, traveling across the world and seeing beautiful locations,” Priddy said. “I really miss that aspect.”
Reid Priddy and Theo Brunner in Vienna in 2019.
So what remains to be accomplished for the grizzled volleyball icon, who believes there is still ample room for improvement on the beach?
“Moving to the beach – it’s like I’ve added five years because of (less) impact of the sand,” Priddy says, about prolonging his lengthy career.
“I love to compete – at the end of the day, that is what was the addictive nature.
“I would love to be able put my best foot forward into the sand at some point. My business is getting to a point where I have a team that is dynamic and qualified, to where I can start to lean in to some very focused training.
“The best teams in the world I want to measure up (with) – I want to see what this old guy can do and see where I come out.”
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour