Canada‘s Chaim Schalk is using his dual citizenship with the United States to transition into becoming an American beach volleyball player.
Schalk has been playing on the FIVB World Tour since 2010 and has been partners with Ben Saxton for the past five seasons. The pair have captured 5 FIVB medals, 9th place at the 2016 Rio Olympics and over 30 top-10 finishes on the FIVB World Tour. With his move to the United States as a full-time American player, this leaves his longtime partner Saxton back in Canada, as he does not have a dual citizenship.
“It was more of a business decision than anything,” Schalk said of the move. “The biggest reasons are that there are way more people to play with and it’s impossible to make a living playing in Canada.”
Back in November, it was seen that Saxton and Grant O’Gorman had recently partnered up prior to the two-star FIVB World Tour event in Sydney. The newly formed Canadian pairing went on to win their first-ever competition together.
With the transition, it puts Schalk out of international beach play for a year and a half, leaving him to play in the AVP Tour this coming season and for most of the 2019 season. For the coming season, Schalk is still working on finding the right partner given his situation internationally and going forward into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In the 2017 season with Saxton, the duo posted a third-place finish at the AVP Gold Series event in New York along with quarterfinal appearances at the two major events of the FIVB World Tour: the FIVB World Championships in Vienna and FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg.
In the United States, there are a number of top men’s teams including the powerhouse duo of Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena. Also in the mix are Trevor Crabb/Sean Rosenthal and Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick.