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Jake Gibb is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

After finishing fifth at the 2008 Olympics, Jake Gibb makes his second Olympic appearance in London with Sean Rosenthal, his partner since 2006. The duo clinched a spot in the London Games at the FIVB World Tour Rome Grand Slam, the last Olympic qualifying tournament, after a tight battle with compatriots Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena for the second U.S. men's berth. Gibb and Rosenthal secured enough points by reaching the event's semifinals, but they also went on to win the tournament, dominating reigning world champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti of Brazil in the final (21-13, 21-12). At the Beijing Games, the No. 7-seeded Gibb and Rosenthal won their group and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Emanuel and Ricardo Santos, the 2004 Olympic champions.

In 2009, Gibb and Rosenthal played only six international tournaments — winning just one bronze medal — because they spent most of their time stateside on the AVP Tour. They made it to five finals that year but won only once, albeit in the most prestigious American tournament, the Manhattan Open. They didn't win another tournament until Rome in June 2012, their first career Grand Slam title. Gibb and Rosenthal competed in six AVP events in 2010 before the tour collapsed, placing second once and third twice. On the World Tour that year, they failed to make the semifinals in 10 appearances. The duo appeared 14 times internationally in 2011, with its best finishes being a silver and bronze. At the world championships, Gibb and Rosenthal placed 17th, their worst showing after taking ninth in 2009 and fifth in 2007. But Gibb and Rosenthal improved dramatically in 2012, winning medals at five of the 10 tournaments they played before the Olympics (two gold).

The reason for their resurgence in 2012 could be related to 1996 Olympic silver medalist Mike Dodd returning as their coach. He led them in 2008 and 2009, but then left to become the AVP commissioner in 2010 and the Italian beach volleyball coach in 2011. Neither Gibb nor Rosenthal had traditional volleyball training growing up, as neither played for high school or college indoor teams like many beach volleyball pros. "We're both kind of these unschooled athletes and we come in and get taught by this master (Dodd)," Gibb says. "It's really a cool thing where we both kind of learn together." While both players say they may be physically healthier now than if they'd played indoor volleyball growing up, they both say they had bad habits that could've been eliminated by coaches earlier.

Gibb and Rosenthal teamed up in 2006, a year after Gibb finished No. 1 on the AVP Tour with Stein Metzger. After the 2005 season, Metzger's childhood friend, Mike Lambert, approached him about teaming up to go to the Olympics together. So despite being on the AVP Team of the Year, Metzger dumped Gibb to join Lambert. Gibb's first choice as a replacement was Rosenthal. "Before I played with him he was the kind of guy that I would go watch when I wasn't playing in my matches because he's super exciting and fun to watch," Gibb says of Rosenthal. The duo won their first tournament together, the Fort Lauderdale Open in March 2006, defeating — who else? — Metzger/Lambert in the final.

In the U.S., beach volleyball is generally looked at as a California sport. And Californian players take pride in their sport, especially when someone from mountainous Utah is trying to take it over. It took awhile for Rosenthal to warm up to Gibb. "I heard about him and I've been out here playing for 11 years or something," Rosenthal said. "I'm like, 'Who's this guy Jake?' And all of a sudden he's climbing up the ranks real fast and I'm playing him and he's blocking me all the time. I'm like, 'Oh I hate this guy from Utah.'" Rosenthal says he didn't really hate Gibb, but didn't get to know him until about a year later.

Gibb got an especially late start in volleyball, as he didn't begin playing regularly until he was 21 years old. Gibb says he originally thought volleyball was a girl's sport, but after playing in a recreation league his senior year of high school, he began to like it. While on a two-year church mission after high school, Gibb grew about four inches to 6-foot-6, and started playing extensively in his backyard with his twin brother, Coleman, when he returned home. Jake never took up the sport while attending the University of Utah, but in 2000 he competed in some AVP events with a friend, Mike Daniel, who paid his expenses to help him qualify for the AVP Tour, which they did. However, Gibb returned to school, graduated in 2002 with a degree in business and was working at a bank training to become a commercial loan officer before he decided give beach volleyball a real try. With $1,600 in his pocket, Gibb and his wife, Jane, moved to California later in 2002.

In 2000, Jake married Jane, a former volleyball player who also graduated from Utah in 2002. Gibb says she supported him from the get-go with his desire to try professional beach volleyball. "We didn't have any money but we had like first month's rent, and Jane, my wife, took up two jobs and said, 'Hey, go try this beach volleyball thing for a while.' Kind of a testament to her; that's a pretty gnarly wife, that she just gave me the go ahead." Jake promised to be ranked among the AVP's top 20 within two years, or he'd quit. After his first season, 2003, Gibb ranked 19th; following his second season, he ranked third with partner Adam Jewell; and with Metzger in 2005, Gibb ranked No. 1 in the AVP. He was named the AVP's Most Valuable Player in 2005. Gibb and his wife had their first child, Crosby, in August 2011.

Gibb's first few years competing in AVP events were spent with Daniel. But Gibb left Daniel in 2003 when Jewell, an AVP veteran, asked him to team up. Gibb and Jewell won an AVP event in 2004 and seemed to make a great team, but Gibb's play caught the attention of Metzger, who teamed with Dax Holdren at the 2004 Olympics. Seeking a taller partner, Metzger approached Gibb about teaming up for the 2005 season. Gibb accepted the offer, and he and Metzger won five AVP events in 2005 before splitting up.

The youngest of 11 children (six boys, five girls), Gibb's legal middle name is Spiker, which was the maiden name of his mother, Saundra. Though his brother Coleman is Jake's twin, they are not identical and Coleman stands just 6-1. A huge Utah Jazz fan, Jake grew up hoping to use his height to play basketball. But as a 6-2 senior at Bountiful High, he was cut from the team. Gibb golfed a lot growing up, and now plays frequently with Rosenthal.


How tall is Jake Gibb? How old is Jake Gibb? Where does Jake Gibb live? Find out here.

Age: 40 years old
Birthday: February 6, 1976
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 209 lbs.
Birthplace: Bountiful, UT
Current Residence: Costa Mesa, CA

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