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Alix Klineman, Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist, sets return from childbirth

Alix Klineman

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 06: Alix Klineman #2 of Team United States celebrates after defeating Team Australia during the Women’s Gold Medal Match on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Shiokaze Park on August 06, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Alix Klineman is returning from June childbirth to compete with a new partner.

Klineman, who won the Tokyo Games with April Ross, and Hailey Harward were granted a wild card spot in October’s world championships.

Klineman’s last tournament was October 2021, after which she had shoulder surgery in January 2022. Klineman had son Theodore on June 9, according to her social media.

Ross, 41, is pregnant with her first child and delved into coaching since her last tournament in March 2022, though she has not announced a retirement.

Klineman has not announced whether she and Harward, a 25-year-old who won two NCAA beach titles with USC, are making a late 2024 Olympic bid.

The window to earn Olympic qualifying points through international tournaments began last February and runs into next June. A nation can qualify a maximum of two teams per gender.

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss and Tokyo Olympian Kelly Cheng (née Claes) and her new partner, Sara Hughes, are the top American teams so far, ranking third and fourth in the world in Olympic qualifying.

They built a significant cushion over the rest of the U.S. teams.