updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT
"Kent takes his training seriously," says his volleyball partner Karch Kiraly. "He's one of the best-conditioned guys on the beach." But it's Steffes's mental muscle that sets him apart. "I've been listening to Newt Gingrich for years," says the conservative 1993 UCLA economics grad. "I watch C-SPAN. I read a lot of political philosophy." And he has time left to sole-search. "I've got nice toes," hesays, "and clean toenails, which is rare in beach volleyball."