Kira Walkenhorst

Kira Katharina Walkenhorst (born 18 November 1990) is a retired German beach volleyball player who played as a blocker.[1] She has an older brother Alexander Walkenhorst who is a professional beach volleyball player [2] and a younger sister Pia Walkenhorst who also plays beach volleyball.

Kira Walkenhorst
Kira Walkenhorst Smart Beach Tour 2017.jpg
Personal information
Born (1990-11-18) 18 November 1990 (age 30)
Height184 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight75 kg (165 lb)
Beach volleyball information
Current teammate
Laura Ludwig
National team
Germany Germany

Walkenhorst won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro together and at the 2017 World Championships with her teammate Laura Ludwig.[3] She also won bronze medals at the 2013 and 2014 European Beach Volleyball Championships and gold medals at the 2015 and 2016 Beach ECH alongside her teammate Laura Ludwig.[4]

She retired from competition at the start of 2019 due to persistent injuries.[5]

In 2020, Walkenhorst made her comeback on the national tour and participated in the German championships.

Professional careerEdit

2016: Rio de JaneiroEdit

Gold Medal Rio Olympics 2016

Kira Walkenhorst participated in the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio together with her teammate Laura Ludwig. They won the gold medal in the final match against the Brazilian duo Ágatha Bednarczuk and Bárbara Seixas in straight sets of 21-18 21-14 following their victory against the Brazilian duo Larissa França and Talita Antunes in the semi-finals.[6]

2016: World TourEdit

Walkenhorst competed in the World Tour Finals in Toronto. With teammate Laura they finished 3rd (Last) in Pool-B with 2 losses In the quarter final match against Ross and Walsh they won in 3 sets of (21-18, 19-21, 15-11), advancing to the semi final against Larissa and Talita of Brazil.[7]

Winning against Brazil in straight sets of (21-19, 21-19)[8] the pair advance to the gold medal match. Another GOLD medal for the Olympic winners in straight sets of (21-18, 21-16)[9] against the Swiss pair of Zumkehr and Heidrich

2017 seasonEdit

Walkenhorst opened the 2017 season at Fort Lauderdale Major with temporary partner Julia Großner while her regular partner Laura Ludwig recovered from a shoulder injury.[10] They won two out of their three pool play matches to make it through to the Final 24. Here they lost 0:2 to Meppelink / Van Gestel (NED) so finished the tournament in 17th position.[11] At the world championships in Vienna, Ludwig / Walkenhorst won the gold medal after beating Lauren Fendrick and April Ross in the final.

Personal lifeEdit

In late 2016, Walkenhorst came out as a lesbian.[12] In October 2017, she married her longtime girlfriend and trainer Maria Kleefisch.[13] One year later, her wife Maria gave birth to triplets.[14]


  1. ^ Dorfman, Blake (6 August 2016). "The Toughest Challenges for Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross in Rio". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  2. ^ "FIVB - Beach Volleyball". Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  3. ^ "FIVB - Beach Volleyball". Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  4. ^ FIVB Player Players Database
  5. ^ "Olympic Champion Walkenhorst Retires From Beach Volleyball". Fédération Internationale de Volleyball. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Elimination Matches
  8. ^ Germans not thinking about the money
  9. ^ German duo caps off memorable beach volleyball season in Toronto
  10. ^ (German)
  11. ^ Ludwig/Walkenhorst - Fort Lauderdale Major 2017
  12. ^ Thüringer Allgemeine: Das alles gehört zu mir (German)
  13. ^ "Olympiasiegerin Kira Walkenhorst ist unter der Haube". 31 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Kira Walkenhorst's Wife Maria Gives Birth to Triplets". Retrieved 2019-08-20.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Women's FIVB Beach World Tour Winner
alongside   Laura Ludwig

Succeeded by
Preceded by
  Sarah Pavan (CAN)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Blocker"
Succeeded by
  Sarah Pavan (CAN)
Preceded by
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Hitter"
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Women's FIVB World Tour "Most Improved"
Succeeded by
  Tanja Hüberli (SUI)
Preceded by
  Bárbara Seixas (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Top Rookie"
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Women's FIVB World Tour "Team of the Year"
alongside   Laura Ludwig

Succeeded by