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Ross and Kessy gracious during visit at Macy's SCP

U.S. Olympic duo expresses excitement to compete in London and obliges several fans' requests.

May 26, 2012|By Steve Virgen
  • U.S. Olympic beach volleyball teammates April Ross, left, and Jennifer Kessy, right, share a laugh during a meet-and-greet for the public at Macy's South Coast Plaza Saturday.
U.S. Olympic beach volleyball teammates April Ross,… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — April Ross revealed her character after taking a question during a visit to Macy's at South Coast Plaza Saturday afternoon.

The former Newport Harbor High star sat next to her Olympic beach volleyball teammate Jennifer Kessy. Ross was asked what it was like training as a high school athlete while growing up in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

"I just wanted to be the best," Ross said. "Whoever it was next to me at the time, I wanted to be better and wanted to be the best."

Ross and Kessy share the same mentality. They have become a strong team since forming five years ago. Back then they sensed something special when they played together for the first time.

They displayed their teamwork in a different way for fans at the promotional event for Ralph Lauren. While a DJ set dance music and top 40 tunes, Ross and Kessy smiled for the camera as they posed with children, elderly men and even babies. A woman asked the Olympic duo to sign their autograph on a baby's hat.

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One man asked Ross and Kessy to hold up an American flag for a photo that did not include him.

Ross and Kessy appeared happy to oblige all requests and sign mostly everything in front of them. The Ralph Lauren staff provided complimentary photos for the fans, a treat that left several fans excited.

The tandem also expressed their thrill to be part of Team USA.

"It's amazing," Ross, 29, who lives in Costa Mesa, said before appearing in front of fans. "It's been a long time coming. I didn't know if the day was ever going to get here that I could consider myself an Olympian. But just knowing going forward that we're always going to be part of this super-elite club, that's so rad."

Ross and Kessy locked up the second of two American berths to the Olympics earlier this month. They finished fifth in the Beijing Grand Slam to earn enough points to qualify for the Olympics.

"It's really exciting to talk about it right now, that we can say that we are going to the Olympics," said Kessy, 34, who lives in Laguna Beach. "But I think once we walk out of the tunnel and into the opening ceremonies I think that's when it's really going to hit us and it's really going to be real. We have so much work to do before we get there. We're really excited to say that we're going. But we want to end up saying we are gold medalists."

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