Beach: Schalk Eyeing 2019 International Return
Ninety nine percent of the top beach volleyball players in the world have put the qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as their top priority for the 2019 World Tour season. Chaim Schalk is one of the few exceptions to the rule.
An Olympian at the Rio 2016 Games, when he represented Canada and finished ninth with Ben Saxton, the 32-year-old defender, who is married to American player Lane Carico, decided to switch federations and play for the United States at the end of the 2017 season.
It happens that according to the rules of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), a player that switches federations needs to go through a two-year period of international inactivity as part of the process.
The timeline will make Schalk sit out for the bulk of the Olympic qualification process to Tokyo, but he’s fine with that.
“The timing for me is definitely not great for Tokyo,” the defender admitted to beachmajorseries.com. “It will be very difficult for me to qualify with the limited opportunity I will have to compete during qualification. But this decision to change federations was not made under the assumption that Tokyo would be my goal. Though the chance is small, there may still be a shot in the dark to qualify if the right circumstances happen. I want to play beach volleyball for a long time, so the prospect of 2024 will be an exciting one for me.”