PVL: America's Strange looks at India for Olympics ticket

American beach volleyball player Alexa Chitra Strange is looking at India for a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Alexa’s father Greg is an American and her mother Sithara hails from Nanthancode in Thiruvananthapuram.   -  stan rayan

She has played on the FIVB World Tour and the under-21 Worlds but surprisingly, American beach volleyball player Alexa Chitra Strange is looking at India for a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

That’s strange because India is a nobody in beach volleyball while the US women are regular medallists at the Olympics, including gold and silver in London 2012.

“The US teams are the best in the world. And that’s honestly the hardest part about being there, my partner and I would probably be in the world’s top-25 but the problem is, in the Olympics, you are only allowed two teams per country,” said the 24-year-old in a chat with Sportstar here.

‘Tough’

“Our three top teams are in the world’s top-10 so it’s tough. Which is why I am looking into India. If I could find an Indian player and if we can develop her, we could be within the world’s top 25, depending on her skill level. I definitely think so.”

Alexa’s father Greg is an American and her mother Sithara hails from Nanthancode in Thiruvananthapuram and that makes the road smoother.

“Last year, I was watching the Asian Games on TV and I saw the Indian women playing Olympic champion China, the world’s best indoor team,” said Alexa, the 2016 NCAA beach champion and now a commentator for the Pro Volleyball League.

“India lost in straight sets but the girls played really well, I could see the athleticism and the potential of these players. If I could recruit one of them and if we could train really hard, I really think we have a chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.”

That could mean giving up her American citizenship. But like her mother Sithara, who has retinitis pigmentosa that left her completely blind, but is now writing a children’s book, Alexa is a strong girl.

“Before I give up my US passport, I would like to get in touch with the national bodies VFI and the IOA to see whether this will work out. If we could get proper support, I don’t have a problem with India.

“Honestly, I feel more at home here than I do in the US. My goal is the 2024 Olympics, be it for India or the USA.”