'We're not satisfied yet': World No. 1 men's beach volleyball duo on rising through the ranks ahead of Tokyo 2020

August 20, 2021

At the ages of just 24 and 25 respectively, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum are at the top of their game.

Since playing their first Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) event together in Austria in 2016, the Norwegian duo has steadily risen through the beach volleyball ranks, cementing their place as the No. 1 men's team in the world at the end of 2018.
While Mol's mother and father are former volleyball and beach volleyball champions -- Sørum's parents met on a volleyball court when they were playing recreationally -- eventually passing down their love for the game to their children.
    Despite initially pursuing football, Sørum was encouraged to play volleyball, thanks to a competitive streak he shared with his younger brother.
      "I kind of joined him and my father and my mom, so in the beginning, it was just a family activity," Sørum tells CNN Sport. "But after a while, it was fun and I started to get better."

      "We also went to tournaments, the world championship," he says. "I really fell in love with the sport on a higher level [...] So from that point, I slowed down on football and I played more and more volleyball."

      Looking forward to the duo's first Olympics this summer, Sørum says, "I want to be as good as I could be in this sport."
      Both players have certainly stood each other in good stead for Tokyo 2020, where they're among the favorites for gold.
      They have eclipsed a host of beach volleyball players with record-breaking career earnings, winning 13 gold medals on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour across several years of competition together.
      In 2020, the pair made history again, when they became the youngest team to win three successive European Championship gold medals.

      "To be that person that represents your country in beach volleyball, it's huge because on the way there, we have had so many teammates and opponents that always also wanted to go to the Olympics [...] everyone had the same dream and now it's only two left," Sørum says.
      "I'm just grateful for the opportunity we have to do it. We will do our best and make Norway proud," he adds.
      They could bring home Norway's first beach volleyball Olympic medal this year.
      "In Tokyo and being a favorite, the only thing that means is that you have played good volleyball before, it doesn't mean that you will win the match at all," Sørum says.
      "I think we have to try to enter the Olympics as the underdogs because we have never been there, and we have to be hungry for winning and hungry for giving it our all," he adds.

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