Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5, 2016 – Olympic gold medallist Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho (Giba) graced the opening of the Volleyball House at Copacabana on Friday.
Giba was delighted to attend the event to launch the very first Volleyball House in the occasion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“It’s amazing because this is the first time in history to have a Volleyball House,” Giba said. “The location here in Copacabana is very strategic because of tourism, and it’s great not only for volleyball but also for the kids in this school. The goal is ideal because it gets the kids into the sport and to school, and away from trouble. This is such a good direction for the FIVB to pursue.”
As an ambassador for the sport, Giba takes his role seriously to spread the greatness of the sport to the youth.
“It’s an honour to take this position in the FIVB to promote volleyball here in Brazil and the world,” Giba said. “This model project of the FIVB is so important for the kids to keep them in school – from high school to college, and onto bigger things. It’s great to have this mentality by the FIVB to bring the sport, the school and the kids together.”
Giba tirelessly gives his time and effort into the promotion of the sport, just like what he was known for when he was still an active player. Giba’s energy on court was unparalleled, which made him one of the legends of the game.
“I try to put this energy to good use to make volleyball better all over the world,” Giba said. “I think this energy goes stronger when you go around the different parts of the world and people approach you and tell you they look up to you. This is very inspiring. So, this is the kind of energy that I want to spread.”
In the Olympic Games, Giba won a gold medal at Athens 2004, and silver medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. As a Brazilian and as a retired athlete, he is just as excited as everyone else.
“Everybody is just excited about Rio 2016,” Giba said. “It’s so amazing because it’s the first Olympic Games in Latin America. As a Brazilian and a former athlete, we are thrilled to have the Olympic Games here.”
Three-time Olympic medallist Kerri Walsh and two-time silver medallist Elizaveta Tishchenko were among the great athletes that attended with Giba in the opening of the Volleyball House. Tishchenko was part of the legacy project team of the FIVB for the Volleyball House.
“It’s great to be here in this special occasion for the FIVB,” Walsh said. “I am happy to be part of this, as this is a sport of dreamers and a sport of doers.”
“This has been very fulfilling for me as an athlete and as part of this legacy project,” Tishchenko said. “It is great to see that the sport that I love – volleyball – is making a lot of people happy. I am happy that this project will change a lot of lives here.”
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