Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings

(WALB) - A few moments after winning her third straight Olympic gold medal with Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh Jennings already had her eyes on the future.

Shaking hands with silver medalist April Ross after the last point of an all-American final in London, she said, "Let's go win gold in Rio."

In their first full season together, Walsh Jennings and Ross won four FIVB tour events and commanded the domestic tour.

But in 2015, the seemingly unstoppable duo faced a major hurdle: Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder twice in two months, and suddenly nothing was certain.

The mother of three took a few weeks off, delaying surgery to finish out 2015 with Olympic qualification events in mind.

The two returned to the sand in Long Beach several weeks later and powered through to the final, losing to Brazil's Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes.

Even in the midst of the tumultuous season, after which she had her fifth shoulder surgery, Walsh Jennings remained adamant that she and Ross will go for gold in Rio.

The three-time Olympic champion, who will turn 38 at the Games, is expected to make her return to competition in March.

Copyright 2016 NBC News. All rights reserved.