Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 17, 2016 – Following the example of their volleyball legend Hugo Conte, Argentina’s women’s volleyball team, ‘Las Panteras’, stopped in at the Volleyball House on Wednesday.
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While it was an opportunity for the team to have some downtime after an intense competition which saw them exit at the pool stage with one win to their name, there was also a birthday celebration for 25-year-old wing spiker Josefina Fernández.
“It’s really nice to be in the Volleyball House and in Rio with the girls in this Olympic spirit,” said the birthday girl. “The House is amazing, the location is great and the view from the balcony is beautiful! This is a memorable day.”
The Volleyball House won wide spread praise from the team, with captain Yamila Nizetich supporting the idea of the house for future Olympic Games.
Star player Mimi Sosa, who has been playing in Brazil for the past three seasons, said, “It’s amazing to come to a place that celebrates our sport. I can’t believe the actions that are being put in place to make our sport even better”.
The team had the opportunity to show the public exactly why they are called ‘Las Pantheras’ when they took to the Copa Courts later in the day. “We are called like that because we are brave when we play,” said Sosa.
While the sun set and a beautiful full moon showing over Copacabana, they gave Bossaball a go on the giant inflatable court of Bossaball as well as took in the LED Net court.
It was an amazing experience for 18-year old student Pablo Camargo who was amazed to see the Olympic athletes up close. “I’m a super fan of volleyball! I’ve been at the CopaCourt all day, and it was really cool to play with Olympians.”
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games was the first Olympic Games for the team, a place they won after being crowned champions earlier this year at the South American Olympic Qualification Tournament on home soil in Bariloche.