Preakness 2012 volleyball brings out Olympic-level competitors

Spectators from Korea to Pennsylvania take in the action at Preakness volleyball

  • Players take to the volleyball court at the 2012 Preakness.
Players take to the volleyball court at the 2012 Preakness. (Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore…)
May 19, 2012|By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

Twenty-seven-old Minju Kim from Seoul, South Korea, found the early races a big yawn, so she and her friend Jieun Yi of Philadelphia stopped by the volleyball field.

"For me, it's not that interesting," Kim said. She is visitig Yi, who is originally from Seoul, for a month. It is her first time in the United States.

Yi married into a family full of horse racing fans. Today is her second trip to Preakness. She visited all three races last year, and said she perfers the Kentucky Derby for the outfits.

Kim and Yi said they were killing time until Maroon 5 takes the stage at 4 p.m.

Brian Smith, 49, the head coach for the women's volleyball team at Millersville University, outside Lancaster, Pa., came to check out the Olympic-level athletes competing in the volleyball tournament. At stake is $50,000 in prizes.

It was the first Preakness for Smith and his wife, Julia, and they said they might wander over to see the final race of the day after the volleyball match ups are through.

"I think it's a great idea," Smith said. "It's good exposure for the sport."

Several U.S. Olympic competitors headed to the London games this year took to the sand.

"It's a good experience," Smith said.

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