Kerri Walsh Jennings is "Six Feet of Sunshine" in Rio

USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrates after winning the women’s beach volleyball bronze medal match between Brazil and the USA at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016, for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Kerri Walsh Jennings has three gold medals from the last four Olympics, and has had 5 shoulder surgeries to make all that possible. On Thursday she and her volleyball partner April Ross took home the bronze in Rio.  

“I’ve said it from Day One. She’s literally a superhero. She’s got superpowers,” Ross told CBS News’ Jamie Yuccas.
 
Walsh Jennings has a nickname: Six Feet of Sunshine. She has quickly become one of the superstars of this Olympics. Fans have praised the 38-year-old’s strength and maturity as the oldest female medal winner in beach volleyball history.

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Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrates during the Rio Olympics.

AP

“She’s not six feet of sunshine when she’s on the court. Make no mistake, no one wants to win more than her,” Ross said.

But, as Walsh Jennings has always said, her biggest job might be mom to her three children, all under 7. 

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USA’s bronze medallists, April Ross (R) and Kerri Walsh Jennings, celebrate on the podium at the end of the women’s beach volleyball event at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro late on August 17, 2016, during the 2016 Olympic Games.

Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images


 During the London games she was five weeks pregnant with her youngest – as she became arguably one of the most dominant U.S. Olympic athletes ever. For the Rio Olympics, she said being a mom came in handy during her training.

“I’ve been working this whole year to try and be a morning person and it’s so hard,” she said. “But that being said, I’m a mommy. If you wake me up at four in the morning to play, I’m gonna be ready.”

After winning 26 straight Olympic matches, this week she lost to host country Brazil. Though clearly disappointed, how did Walsh Jennings respond?

When she finished the match, she started running around the beach high-fiving people, thanking the fans like she does when she wins. 

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USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings (R) celebrates after winning the women’s beach volleyball bronze medal match between Brazil and the USA at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016, for the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

After the match, Jennings refused to speculate on whether this Olympics would be her last.

I focus on the present, she said. That’s where my joy is.