Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2020 – USA outside hitter Kimberly Hill is having to extend her international career by a year to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games her national team farewell.
The 30-year-old has been a mainstay of the Karch Kiraly side that has enjoyed regular success on the court with gold at the Italy 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship and 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, and bronze at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The USA showed that they will be among the favourites after adding another VNL title in 2019 and they have a proud history in the Olympic Games with Athens 2004 the last time they failed to finish on the podium.
“For sure, I'll be done with the national team after the Olympics, and likely done playing overseas” Hill told The Portland Tribune in an interview before Tokyo 2020 was postponed to summer 2021 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
"There are some really strong teams — China, Serbia, Italy. We could handle ourselves against any of those teams if we're playing well, but it will be really tough for sure.
“The Olympics — God willing they happen — are going to be a battle, and they're going to be fun.”
Hill currently players in Italy’s Serie A for Imoco Valley Conegliano in Treviso. It is her fourth season in Italy, though the league has been suspended and she is living in lockdown.
The Portland native has been part of the USA team since 2013 and a year later she helped the USA to their first world title in 2014 and picked up the Most Valuable Player award.
At Rio 2016 they were unable to add the Olympic title to their collection. Serbia defeated them in the semifinals, but they rallied to ensure they left with a medal by beating the Netherlands 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 25-22, 25-19) in the bronze medal match.
“We were disappointed, for sure," Hill said. “We could have gotten gold. I wouldn't say it was expected, but that's what our hopes were.
“We were proud of the bronze and happy to get a medal, but the bronze medal match was the hardest I've played in my life. Two nights earlier, we were devastated. I've never been that heartbroken in my life.”
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