American Duo April Ross And Alix Klineman Win Gold Medal In Beach Volleyball, Receive Praise From Other A-Team’s Mr. T

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Caroline Kucera Contributor
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April Ross and Alix Klineman have secured more Olympic gold for Team USA after beating Australia in the beach volleyball finals Friday.

“It’s just been such a fairy tale,” Klineman said in an interview with the Today show following the win. “And it feels like a dream I’m going to wake up from tomorrow, but I’m thrilled it’s not.”

Legendary TV personality Mr. T is also for excited the win.

“Wow! You did it Ladies, Congratulations!,” Mr. T tweeted Friday. “@AprilRossBeach and @alixklineman, you Deserve the Gold! You Brought your ‘A’ Game to the A-team! USA All the Way, you made Us Proud!”

Mr. T is best known for his role as B.A. Baracus in the 1980’s series, “The A-Team.” Considering Ross and Klineman have been nicknamed the “A-Team” after their first name initials, Mr. T has cheered loudly for the duo over the course of the Olympic tournament.

“When I heard they call you Ladies ‘The A-Team’, I had to Cheer You On!,” he tweeted Aug. 3. “” Pity the Competition… Grrrr!”

Both Ross and Klineman appeared star-stuck by the shoutout.

“What!!!!!” Klineman wrote on Twitter. 

“Ahhhhhh,” said Ross. “Thank you for your blessing @MrT! #ATeam.”


Even with the celebrity support, it wasn’t an easy path to the podium for the American duo.

Ross and Klineman competed in sweltering heat at the Shiokaze Park beach volleyball venue Friday, with temperatures reaching up to 92 degrees, according to ESPN. The athletes even needed to wear ice vests to cool down ahead of competing, Ross told Today.

But nothing could stop the A-Team from defeating Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy of Australia. After 43 minutes of gameplay, USA secured the gold.

The tournament was a strong olympic debut for Klineman, who transitioned to beach volleyball from indoor just four years ago, according to NBC News. (RELATED: Norwegian Sports Team Fined For Refusing To Wear Bikinis)

“It’s been a crash course in (beach) volleyball,” Klineman said, according to Today. “I’m so lucky to have been paired up with April and have been on this journey with her. And I’m so grateful and proud and thankful for everybody who’s helped us along.”

Ross, on the other hand, is a seasoned pro. The veteran athlete bumped, set and spiked her way to a silver medal in London in 2012 and bronze in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. 

“I couldn’t have done this without Alix, obviously. She’s amazing,” Ross said, according to NBC. “But to get a gold medal finally just feels so amazing.”

The two teamed up after the 2017 volleyball season and have played exceptionally well together, winning numerous AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour events, according to NBC Chicago. Their accomplishments landed Team USA a spot as the No. 2 seed going into the 2020 Tokyo games, trailing team Canada who was defeated by the Australians in the quarterfinal. 

USA’s 2-0 win over Australia is the first time Americans have won gold since 2012, when Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor dominated, according to NBC News. 

Team USA’s men’s beach volleyball team was ousted from the competition in the round of 16.