Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 8, 2016 – The Copacabana beach front location of the Volleyball House made it the perfect location for the FIVB to welcome its Japanese partners to the Olympic Games in Rio.
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It was a celebration of successful collaboration and an opportunity to look ahead to volleyball events taking place in Japan over the next few years – which include the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the same city where volleyball first made its Olympic debut in 1964.
Since it’s opening on Friday, the Volleyball House has quickly earned its reputation as the “place to be” in Copacabana. And the guest register reads like a who’s who of the beach volleyball and volleyball world as well as prominent figures in other sports.
Guests have included three-time Olympic beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross, who dropped by the house on Sunday evening to enjoy some downtime before successfully opening their campaign with victory over Australia just a few hundred metres down the road at the beach volleyball venue.
The same afternoon, Brazil’s 2011 beach volleyball world champion Larissa França took the opportunity to take us on a special tour of the volleyball house.
Austria’s Alexander Horst and Clemens Doppler were also on hand to help unveil Vienna as the host city of the 2017 Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Brazil’s volleyball legend Giba caused quite a stir on Monday afternoon, when he appeared at the Copa Courts, located across the road from the Volleyball House.
While it was an opportunity for some to get closer to their idol, Giba also took the time to pass on some of his expertise to his adoring fans.
The Copa Courts and the Volleyball House have also seen their fair share of legends over the past few days, such as five-time beach volleyball world champions Randy Stokles and Sinjin Smith from the United States, Brazil’s two-time Olympic gold medal winning former setter Mauricio Lima and 1996 beach volleyball Olympic gold medallist Jackie Silva also from Brazil.
London 2012 Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist Germany’s Julius Brink also shared his expertise, giving kids and adults at the Copa Courts a taste of some world class volleyball action, joined by Vladimir Grbic of Serbia who won gold with his national team at the Sydney 2000 Olympic.
And some, like beach volleyball’s Marco and Esteban Grimalt of Chile, chose to make their Volleyball House outing a family affair and were accompanied by three generations of the country's most famous volleyball dynasty.
And while the Volleyball House is proving to be quite the hub for the volleyball community, Australia’s rugby star Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins gave the Volleyball House his seal of approval.
As did Formula 1 boss, Bernie Eccelstone.