EXPLAINER: How does a grain of sand make it to the Olympics?

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TOKYO (AP) — There’s a lot more to building a beach volleyball court than just stringing up a net by the sea. A year after hosting the Olympic competition on Brazil’s iconic Copacabana beach, this year’s event isn’t on a beach at all. Instead, the venue is in the urban Shiokaze Park overlooking Tokyo Bay. Organizers shipped in 3,500 tons of sand from Vietnam to create a surface that is safe and consistent for the players. The sand is at least 16 inches thick, making it safe to jump and dive on. It also helps the court drain during downpours like the ones that hit Tokyo this week.

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