Jordan Larson returns to U.S. volleyball team

Jordan Larson

Jordan Larson, who in Tokyo captained the U.S. to its first Olympic women’s volleyball title as tournament MVP, is returning to the national team for the first time since the Games.

Larson, 36, competed at the last three Olympics, winning a medal of every color.

She said in March 2020 that she planned an international retirement for after the Tokyo Games in 2021 for “other endeavors in my life that I want to see. Getting married, having children, those kinds of things.”

“I would want nothing more than to have a family,” she tweeted Thursday. “Unfortunately, god has other plans. I have been blessed to do what I love for a very long time and still have a passion for it.”

U.S. head coach Karch Kiraly said in a video interview published Thursday that Larson “will be in our gym.”

“She is on our roster for VNL in terms of eligibility,” Kiraly said, referencing the volleyball nations league, which begins May 30 and runs at various times through mid-July final rounds in Texas. “Jordan had a certain life path planned out, mapped out, and then some things changed, and so her life took a couple of unexpected turns, which led her to kind of reassess things.

“In general, I guess I’d say she is surprised at how much she is still enjoying this game and surprised at how good her body is still feeling after having played for quite a number of years.”

Larson continued to play club volleyball after Tokyo in China and Italy.

Without Larson, the national team placed fourth at last fall’s quadrennial world championship.

If Larson goes for a fourth Olympics, she can become the second-oldest U.S. Olympic female indoor volleyball player after program record five-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda, according to

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Olympic medals stolen from U.S. volleyball player

Stolen Olympic Volleyball Medals
Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Authorities on Thursday were looking for three Olympic medals belonging to a member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team after they were stolen from a Southern California home.

The medals were being temporarily stored at a Laguna Hills home and were inside a safe that was taken in an Oct. 29 burglary, Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

No arrests have been made.

The gold medal was from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the silver from the 2012 London Olympics and the bronze from the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil.

Authorities didn’t immediately identify the owner of the medals.

It’s the second time this year that a medal belonging to a member of the women’s volleyball team has been stolen in Orange County.

Jordyn Poulter reported her 2020 gold medal stolen May 25 after her car was broken into at a parking garage in Anaheim, police said.

Detectives later arrested a suspect in the theft, but weren’t immediately able to locate the missing medal. It was finally returned in June after the owners of an Anaheim barbershop reported finding the medal inside a plastic bag discarded outside their business and turned it over to police.

A 31-year-old Anaheim resident described by police as having a lengthy criminal history has been charged in the theft.

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U.S. women’s volleyball team takes fourth at world championship

World Volleyball Championship Women

The U.S. women’s volleyball team finished fourth at the world championship, one year after winning the program’s first Olympic title in Tokyo.

The Americans were swept by Italy 25-20, 25-15, 27-25 in Saturday’s bronze-medal match. The U.S. lost its previous contest to Serbia in the semifinals.

Serbia repeated as world champion, defeating Brazil in the final.

The world championship in volleyball is quadrennial, like the Olympics, making it the single biggest tournament between the Tokyo and Paris Games. The U.S. men lost in the quarterfinals of their quadrennial worlds last month.

The U.S. women’s roster at worlds lacked three-time Olympian stalwarts from Tokyo — Jordan Larson, who said before the Tokyo Games that she would retire from the national team afterward, and Foluke Akinradewo Gundersen, who came back from November 2019 childbirth to make the Olympic team at age 33.

Instead, this team, again coached by Olympic beach and indoor champion Karch Kiraly, was led on the attack by Ali Frantti, a 26-year-old in her global championship debut, with Tokyo Olympians Annie Drews and Jordyn Poulter leading the team in scoring and setting going into the bronze-medal match.

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