Jim McIsaac, Getty Images
July 19, 2008
Key dates: Gold medal match on Aug. 8
Venue: Horse Guards Parade
Big story: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (above) will try for an unprecedented three-peat, but much has changed in four years. Walsh gave birth to two children, and May-Treanor had to recover from an Achilles injury suffered while rehearsing for "Dancing With the Stars."
Top U.S. prospects: There is another talented American team: Jennifer Kessy and April Ross barely missed making the team last time but are now ranked No. 4 in the world.
Others to watch: No surprise that a Brazilian duo -- Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva -- are No. 1 in the Olympic rankings. The Chinese will send Zhang Xi and Xue Chen.
Little-known fact: Three-thousand tons of sand were brought from a quarry in Godstone, Surrey, to create temporary courts just outside the prime minister's official residence to create a backdrop for this television-friendly sport.