It is a privilege for beach volleyball to be centre stage in Rio on the sands of the famous Copacabana Beach as the sport returns to its spiritual home, ready to bring a taste of the Brazilian carnival spirit to the Olympic Games.
This is an incredibly exciting time for the entire volleyball family as players and fans flock to this most iconic setting in what is sure to be the most spectacular Olympic beach volleyball event to date!
Beach volleyball was first introduced at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. It has gone on to become one of the most popular and sought-after events and fans can look forward to a party atmosphere here in Rio.
A total of 24 teams from both genders will take to the sand and the competition will be fierce as every nation strives to be named Olympic champion and experience ultimate sporting glory.
The 16 highest ranked teams will be joined by the world champions, five Continental Cup winners, one World Continental Cup winner, one World Continental Cup runner up and one host berth.
USA have dominated the competition since 1996, winning a total of six gold medals. Hosts Brazil are second in the medal table with two golds and the Brazilians will be hoping the passionate home support can inspire them to Olympic glory.
Thank you to the organisers for helping to create the best possible environment for the athletes to perform in. I can think of no greater event or location which better showcases our wonderful sport to the world.
Dr. Ary S. Graça F°