This man is a first-time Olympian at 50 — as a beach volleyball referee

Japan 2020

TOKYO (KSEE) — At 50 years old, Brig Beatie is a first-time Olympian as a beach volleyball referee.

“I worked really hard to get to this point,” says Beatie.

One of 13 at the Tokyo games, Beatie’s dream to be a referee has been a long time coming: nearly 28 years to be more precise.

“This is our ultimate goal, just like the players,” explains Beatie. “We want to get here and be a part of it. And, so, I was lucky enough to do that.”

Beatie, the only beach volleyball referee from North America, is a college professor teaching kinesiology at Fresno State. He also teaches a course on the history of the Olympics.

“It’s a general ed class, so I get the whole population for the most part in Fresno State’s student body,” says Beatie.

Beatie says the class isn’t all about sports, instead, focusing on politics. Now, he says he’ll be able to share first-hand knowledge with his students.

“To be able to go back in the fall and share my experience here is going to be pretty special,” Beatie says. “The rings are something pretty special.”

The Olympic Games have a mandatory retirement age of 55, so Beatie will be eligible to referee at the Paris Games in 2024, but not the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

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