Three-time Olympian Ryan Millar of Alpine appears poised to be left off the U.S. men’s volleyball roster for the London Olympics.
The former Brigham Young University star player and coach was not on the 12-man roster traveling to the FIVB World League final in Bulgaria this week, nor was he on the team that earned a trip there by winning its last World League pool-play match in Dallas last weekend.
Spokeswoman B.J. Evans of USA Volleyball said she could not comment on the Olympic roster, because it has not been announced yet.
However, it’s extremely unlikely that a player left off the roster for such important matches would then be named to the Olympic team. Evans did confirm that Millar is not injured.
Millar could not be reached for comment. But when he spoke with The Tribune in June, the 34-year-old fully expected to play in London and already had made plans for his family to join him.
“I still have plenty left in me to try to defend our gold medal in London,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to it a lot.”
Miller played his first Olympics at the 2000 Sydney Games, where the Americans failed to win a single match. Four years later, at the Athens Games, they nearly won a medal, finishing fourth. And finally, at the 2008 Beijing Games, they broke through under former Cougar coach Hugh McCutcheon to win the gold.
“It’s gone from total heartbreak to total exuberation,” Millar said.
Even if Millar is not named to the team, Utah will be well represented in the volleyball competition in London.
Logan Tom, who graduated from Highland High School, is nearly a lock to make the women’s team for the fourth time, while former Cougars Russell Holmes and Rich Lambourne look like they’re going to make the men’s team.
Beach player Jake Gibb of Bountiful already has secured his spot, while Orem’s Kristin Richards has an outside shot of making the women’s roster.