The Olympics are finally starting after a long wait! There are a myriad of events taking place today. One such event is perhaps the most summery of the Summer Olympics, beach volleyball. Several players are taking to the sand for the US today, hoping to bring home the gold for America. Quite a few matches are going on in the morning, but in the afternoon, at 3:30 EST, one American men’s team gets their chance to shine in a preliminary round. This round can be live streamed online.
The American duo at that time will be Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson. It’s Patterson’s first time at the Olympics, But Gibb is an old pro at this point. He has had an amazing career that any professional volleyball player could envy; he’s had career highs following personal lows. He has sacrificed and struggled, and he’s come out on top. Today, he’s hoping, is the start of him coming out on top at the Olympics for the first time in his long, storied career.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. This is Gibb’s 3rd Time Playing in the Olympics, and His First Time With Partner Casey Patterson
Gibb is in his third Olympics ceremony, having played and gone relatively far into the events in both 2008 and 2012. In each of those ceremonies he was partnered with Sean Rosenthal, the teammate he played with longest. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Gibb and Rosenthal were the 7th seed, making it all the way to the Quarterfinals before stalling and finishing fifth overall. After 2008, there was far more hype for Gibb and Rosenthal after a surprising finish, but once again they languished in fifth place overall. Soon after, the duo decided to split up and find new teammates.
He quickly moved from Rosenthal to Patterson. He had been considering Patterson for some time, when a mutual friend had them over for a <a href="http://” target=”_blank”>barbecue and the partnership began. That same year, 2013, the Gibb/Patterson team went 30-5 on the way to a Team of the Year award from USA Volleyball.
2. He Has Been a Star Volleyball Player Since the Mid-2000s, With 3 AVP Most Valuable Player Awards and 2 USA Volleyball Male Beach Athlete of the Year Awards
Patterson is a player who had done well for himself but early in his career never had a peak that propelled him to the Olympics. Gibb, however, was a star from nearly the very beginning. His Team USA page lists his numerous impressive accomplishments that occurred outside of the various Olympics games he participated in. In addition to the aforementioned 2013 USA Volleyball Team of the Year award he and Patterson shared, Gibb took home the USA Volleyball Male Beach Athlete of the Year award that year as well, his second consecutive win. Gibb won AVP’s Most Valuable Player in 2013 too, as well as the year after that and even back in 2015. With FIVB, he was their top rookie in 2005, and one half of their Team of the Year in 2012 with Rosenthal.
3. His Success in Volleyball Has Earned Him Over $1.5 Million in Winnings
Exactly how much can you make in professional volleyball? As it turns out, quite a bit if you’re as good as Jake Gibb is at it. Gibb’s BVBInfo page offers some insight, if not into the 40 year old’s net worth, then at least the earnings he has made from his volleyball victories. 27 victories in the US, 26 of which were with AVP, netted him about $835,585. Even more impressively, internationally he has 6 titles that helped him earn an additional $705,038. That adds up to over $1.5 million dollars, just from playing volleyball.
4. Gibb is a Two-Time Cancer Survivor, Most Recently Beating Testicular Cancer in the 2010s
Gibb is a survivor, in the most literal sense of the word. In 2002, at just 26 years old, Gibb was diagnosed with melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. After an initial biopsy around the shoulder, doctors had to remove a much larger chunk in the area. Gibb survived to play the sport again, albeit with a sunscreen and long-sleeve shirt regimen. Gibb noted his condition and the impact it had on players around him: “But my experience has made a lot of players around me more aware of skin cancer. They know what I went through and they are a lot more conscious of protection now.”
In 2010, tragedy struck again, as Gibb was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He immediately underwent surgery and thankfully did not have to experience chemotherapy. Even more incredibly, just two years after his diagnosis Gibb was competing in the Summer Olympics. An inspirational video about Gibb’s journey, and how he dealt with his cancer diagnosis, is on Vimeo, and embedded onto his official website.
5. He Has Been Married For 16 Years, and He & His Wife Jane Have Two Children
Jake and Jane Gibb have been married since 2000. In a feature about Gibb on the NBC Olympics website, Jane selflessly worked two jobs while Gibb tried to make it as a volleyball player in the early 2000s, with a condition: if he wasn’t a top 20 ranked player within 2 years or he would stop playing. In 2005, he and Stein Metzger, his then-teammate, were the number one team with AVP.
Having come from a large family (he and his twin are the youngest of eleven), it’s no wonder that Gibb has started his own family as well. It’s not quite at 11 just yet: he and Jane have two children, a son named Crosby and a daughter named Cora Jane.