Adam Johnson couldn’t believe it.

He’d had some rough losses in his day, narrow losses with a lot on the line. Twice he had been the first team out of the Olympics, and twice it was because of a random, head-scratching injury. In 1996, when Johnson was partnered with Randy Stoklos in the Olympic trials in Baltimore, the two had to win just one of their next two matches, the first of which would come against the Mikes – Mike Whitmarsh and Mike Dodd.

Thirty seconds before the match, Stoklos hit one final warm up jump serve, landed on a ball and sprained his ankle.

Johnson and Stoklos would lose the next two matches, and their bid for the Olympic Games.

Four years later, it was Johnson and Karch Kiraly, needing essentially only to qualify for one final tournament to seal their spot in the Athens Games – and then it was Kiraly who suffered an injury.

Again, Johnson was the first team out.

“Thanks for reminding me,” he said, wistfully, on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter.

Eighteen years have passed since just missing out on the 2000 Games, but stakes are still high for Johnson on the volleyball court.

Now, he’s wagering In N Out burgers.

“I’ve never lost to my girls,” he said. “Now I will say that with a little asterisk, because I am getting a little bit older, and I was up 22-10 when one of the girls shot the ball over on one and I turned to go get it and I heard my hammy go a little bit.”

Johnson wanted to call it quits.

The girls wouldn’t have it.

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