Should she need extra motivation when it’s time to get back on her grind (unlikely for a world-class athlete, but just in case), she can reflect on that winning moment this past August in Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park. 

As temps climbed over 90 degrees, sheAnd Klineman—known to fans as the A Team—steadily toppled their competition, culminating in straight set wins over Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in the gold medal match. 

Despite entering as favorites, “All the way through the Games, every team we went up against, we were really nervous and we respected every single team and knew that they were a threat,” said Ross. “So we took it seriously and the fact we were able get through the Olympics so smoothly and then kind of dominate in the final match against an opponent that we’ve had a lot of trouble with in past years, it was just hard for me to grasp that.”

As she and Klineman embraced in the sand, “I think the number one thing we kept saying after the fact, was, ‘I can’t believe we just did that,'” Ross continued. “It’s been really great to reflect on how unbelievable it is that I was capable of securing my gold medal on my 3rd attempt. At 39 years old, I hope that it inspires others to pursue their dreams.”