Mark Heese and his partner John Child
, the defending Olympic bronze
medallists, are ranked sixth in the world heading into the Games. In 12
tour events this year, they have nine top-10 finishes and have medalled
twice including a silver at the Toronto stop in June. They'll open the
Olympic tournament against Jean-Philippe Jodard and Christian Penigaud of
France, seeded 20th, in the first round.
"Having one Olympics under our belt should be beneficial," said Heese, a
former high school gym teacher who quit in 1995 to embark on a full time
beach volleyball career. "The majority of the field at the Games will be
first time Olympians. Overall our season has gone well although we could
have been a little more consistent. The calibre of play right now is very
tight and there's no margin for error."
The pair, both married with young families, train in the winter at the
North Beach Indoor Volleyball Academy in Toronto.
Sept. 24: John Child and Mark Heese, Toronto, were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Brazillians Ze Marco and Ricardo 15-13 in a marathon 81 minutes.
Sept. 22: John Child and Mark Heese, Toronto, advanced to the quarter-finals, defeating Mikhail Kouchnerev and Sergey Ermishin, Russia, 15-6.
Sept. 17: John Child and Mark Heese, Toronto, won opening-round match, 15-3 over Jean-Phillippe Jodard and Christian Penigaud, France
Mark Heese backs away from a serve
Child and Heese react to a point
Canadian Mark Heese as a SUNShine Boy
Mark Heese is pumped
2000 Games Beach Volleyball Coverage