Neither of the happy winners, Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig, were in 1984 even glints in the eyes of their respective parents. But in that Olympic year I was publisher of the quarterly periodical Eurovolley in which we speculated about the relevance of beach volleyball, with its implication of sun-blessed sandy shores, in our northern climes.
I was optimistic even then. My attitude towards sport was that of a provider of entertainment, spectacle for the eye and sufficient excitement to make the pulse beat faster. At the Cap d'Agde naturist resort I'd found mixed-doubles tennis involving naked players a bit grotesque, but beach volleyball had met with my unqualified approval.
But in Germany could it ever be taken seriously as a proper sport, let alone an Olympic discipline? Now the gold in Rio is Germany's first-ever medal in women's beach volleyball. It goves me some kind of satisfaction after all the intervening years.