Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016 – The Volleyball House has seen its fair share of volleyball and beach volleyball celebrities since the start of the Olympics, but Thursday’s visitors have helped shaped the course of the sports’ history in more ways than one.
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As Brazil’s Guilherme Marques and Jackie Silva learned, reaching down low to find your name on the list of beach volleyball world champions is definitely an honour at the Volleyball House!
Marques who won gold at the first FIVB World Championship in 1997 with partner Rogerio was one of the frontrunners who helped to make the sport of beach volleyball famous worldwide. The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has seen the former athlete join the Organising Committee as a sports coordinator responsible for nine disciplines which include volleyball and beach volleyball in addition to football, rugby, handball and archery.
Jackie Silva, who has been busy this Olympics passing on her experience and training to youngsters on the Copa Courts, is widely acknowledged as a legend in the sport with more than 100 combined wins at beach and indoor events. She is also an accomplished philanthropist, with the Jackie Silva Institute running an anti-drug abuse sports project that serves Brazilian children in local communities. As the Special Olympics Brazil Amabssador, Jackie was also on hand on Thursday during the signing of the MOU between the FIVB and the Special Olympics
Also visiting the Volleyball House today was Julio Velasco, coach of the Argentine national volleyball team.
A well revered coach in the volleyball world, Velasco has coached in countries as diverse as Italy, Spain and Iran, before taking on Argentina's Olympic team. Coaching success, Velasco stated firmly is not a secret. "I work hard and try to understand the game.”
Thursday’s visitors to the Volleyball House also included Rio 2016 beach volleyball quarterfinalists from Switzerland, Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich. “It’s really nice as a house of the sport to come together where you meet the beach volleyball and volleyball family and where we can show what our sport is about,” said Heidrich in an interview.