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Volleyball star Kerri Walsh becomes a mom

Kerri WalshOlympic gold medals are cool. But two-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh just got the biggest prize of all: She became a mom.

Walsh, 30, and her husband, AVP pro-volley ball player Casey Jennings, 33, welcomed son Joseph Michael Jennings at 7:15 p.m. on May 22 in Los Angeles. The first child for Walsh and Jennings weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, sporting a soft shock of blond hair, the same color as Dad’s.

The AVP Tour said mother and baby are “happy and healthy.”

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome Joseph into the world,” Walsh told “It’s the most incredible feeling. We are already so in love with him and it’s such an amazing, special moment for our family.”

Walsh and teammate Misty May-Treanor won the Olympic gold medal in Athens in 2004 and again in Beijing in 2008. Both players have said they would take some time off to start families and Walsh apparently conceived the night of the Olympic triumph.

For Dad, the 24 hours leading up to the birth was topsy-turvy. Jennings was in the middle of the AVP Crocs Huntington Beach Open. Walsh was a week past her due date when main-draw play began Friday. Jennings and partner Matt Fuerbringer won both of their Friday matches.

And “Joey” waited until Dad was finished playing Friday to enter the world.

Walsh’s water broke at 6 p.m. Friday, five minutes after Jennings returned to their Hermosa Beach home. Jennings drove her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, in traffic.

“It was just a beautiful thing,” Jennings, a defensive specialist, recalled. “Kerri is a star. She waited for me to get home, and I think mentally she just did exactly what she wanted to do.”

Jennings will never forget the first look the baby gave Mom. He drifted back to the moment and explained:

“The baby looked at her right away and was just staring at her like: ‘This is the woman that’s been talking to me for the past nine months.’ And he’s looking at her, and you can just tell there was that immediate bond.”

Congrats to both Casey and Kerri.

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