For the first time in Olympic Games history two female referees, Susana Rodriguez (second from left) and Patti Rolf (far right) will officiate in the Rio 2016 women's gold medal game between China and Serbia at the Maracanazinho.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 20, 2016 – Often seen but rarely heard, volleyball and beach volleyball referees at the 2016 Olympic Games had the opportunity to visit the Volleyball House this week as the sporting action heads into its final days in Rio.
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FIVB Beach Volleyball Refereeing Commissioner, Mr José Casanova from Portugal was enthusiastic about what he saw saying, "Aside from the business scope, this space is a great surprise for us from the volleyball family."
In his opinion, Casanova, who has participated in six Olympics said that beach volleyball at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 was a complete success. "All games are different games. But Rio had a special spice, with a very Brazilian flavour. Beach volleyball on Copacabana Arena turned into a sensational show. "
Also touring the Volleyball House on Thursday was Swiss beach volleyball referee Jonas Personeni, who has worked at three Olympics. While he said he believed that each and every Games is unique and fantastic in their own way, he could not help himself when he admitted that "In the mythical beach of Copacabana everything is much more special."
Personeni knows a thing or two about making a tournament special, becoming a celebrity in his own right after a romantic on site proposal to his girlfriend in Klagenfurt in 2015.
An experienced beach volleyball referee, Personeni refereed the men’s Final, which saw Brazilian pair Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt capture the gold medal against Italy’s Nicolai and Lupo. "The vibe of the crowd was amazing,” said Personeni. “The first set especially gave an extra boost to the Brazilian athletes."
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° was also appreciative of the electric atmosphere at the beach volleyball venue. "I congratulate each of you for the excellent work performed. Beach volleyball was a huge success at these Games and we must continue fighting for the sport to have a great future."
The use of the Challenge System at matches in the Maracanazinho during the Rio 2015 Games, was very much the topic of conversation among volleyball referees visiting the House on Friday.
Member of the FIVB referee committee, Guillermo Paredes from Argentina, put forward a positive assessment of the Challenge System. "We had no problem with the volleyball matches,” he said. “At first, we were apprehensive about the use of the challenge, a new tool, but in the course of the calendar we made sure that it was our ally. The referees' decisions were always accepted without discussion, which for us is a reason for great joy."
In his opinion, the inclusion of this technology is the greatest legacy that the FIVB leaves for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.“The federation has been a pioneer in creating a new sports environment that other sports do not yet have,” said Paredes.