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Phil Dalhausser’s Last Run to the Olympics Starts Friday in Orlando

Dalhausser and Nick Lucena play Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in exhibition at Lake Nona

FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 - Day 9
Phil Dalhausser at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships
Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Phil Dalhausser’s place in volleyball history is secure. The 6-foot-9 UCF graduate won gold in Beijing in 2008. He’s won the world championship. He’s got the fifth-most wins of any men’s beach volleyball player in history.

So why, at the age of 40, are he and his partner Nick Lucena (who is also 40), making another charge at the Olympics?

“One day I was talking to myself in the kitchen and was like, ‘What is my purpose in life?’ And my wife [fellow beach volleyball player Jennifer] said, ‘You’re an idiot if you don’t think beach volleyball is your purpose in life’,” he said when I interviewed him on the latest episode of the Black & Gold Banneret Podcast. It was then he said he said his whole mindset changed.

“I figured, go for another Olympics, and then I’d be happy walking away from the sport no matter what, if we made it or if we didn’t,” Dalhausser said.

Go to the one-hour mark below for the full interview.

Dalhausser and his longtime partner Nick Lucena will face 2016 Rio silver medalists Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in an exhibition match at Boxi Park in Lake Nona this Friday. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

This will be our last chance to see Dalhausser, Central Florida’s native son, playing here in Florida before he and Lucena go on tour to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.