Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016 – The FIVB celebrated the 20 year anniversary since beach volleyball was first introduced to the Olympic Games at Atlanta in 1996 with two Legends matches between the bronze and gold medal matches of the men's and women's beach volleyball competition at the Copacabana Beach arena.
Beach volleyball has set the standard for fan engagement at Rio 2016 through its new innovations and narrative of the game and now, in cooperation with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee and the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV), the FIVB has entertained the beach volleyball arena with a “Legend’s Classics” game.
The “Legend’s Classics” began just after 11:00 (local time) on Wednesday and Thursday and was staged “to recognize the legends and the iconic players that have helped the sport to grow with their contribution to the Olympic Movement,” said Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, the FIVB President.
“We will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Beach Volleyball after its first debut at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and commemorate Copacabana as the spiritual home of beach volleyball as part of the Olympic Movement,” President Graça added.
Set at the 12,000-seat “Coliseu on Copacabana”, the “Legend’s Classi” was added entertainment for the spectators between the end of bronze medal matches and gold medal matches. Featuring six-person and mixed gender games, some of the sport’s most iconic players from volleyball and beach volleyball took to the sand.
Two of the central figures were Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos. The legendary American pair won the first-ever FIVB-sanctioned beach volleyball event at Rio de Janeiro in February 1987. Smith also participated in the inaugural Olympic beach volleyball event in 1996 with Carl Henkel.
Guilherme Marquez, who teamed with Rodrigo “Parra” Ferreira to win the 1997 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Los Angeles also returned to the court.
Guilherme was the most familiar with the Arena having acted as the Venue Manager on Copacabana Beach.
The concept was put into place thanks to the support of Fulvio Danilas, Fernando Marques, Giovane and FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Angelo Squeo.
WORLD LEGENDS (BLUE)
BRASIL LEGENDS (GREEN)
Beach Volleyball Legends Profile
Sinjin Smith, United States
A Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee, Christopher St. John "Sinjin" Smith has been involved in both aspects - volleyball and beach volleyball. He started his career by leading UCLA to two NCAA Volleyball Championships in 1978 and 1979. He was a member US men’s team in 1979 and competed for three years until 1982. However, the beach was where he made his name as he won his first tournament in 1977 and ended his career in 2001. In between, he won 139 tournaments highlighted by 129 domestically and 10 internationally. He and Randy Stoklos won the first-ever FIVB-sanctioned event in February 1987 in Rio. Smith was the first player to reach 100 career open victories. He was named AVP Best Defensive Player three times (1990-1992). He also participated in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games where he and Carl Henkel placed fifth.
Randy Stoklos, United States
A 2008 inductee into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, Stoklos won 122 events during his career as he and his 15-season partnership with Sinjin Smith helped elevate beach volleyball from a Southern California game to a global sport. Stoklos and Smith dominated the game by winning the first-ever FIVB-sanctioned event in February 1987 in Rio followed by nine more gold medal finishes in their 10 international events through 1992. Stoklos played Volleyball at UCLA and was briefly a member of the U. Men’s National Indoor Team. Stoklos, a three-time MVP on the American domestic circuit, and Smith were FIVB World Tour champions’ four-times (1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992).
Bjorn Maaseide, Norway
A three-time Norwegian beach volleyball Olympian playing with Jan Kvalheim (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000) and Iver Horrem (Athens 2004), Maaseide has achieved success on-and-off the sand. He and Kvalheim won seven FIVB World Tour gold medals and were the international circuit’s top team in 1994. The pair also won the 1994 European Championships. Maaseide was the instrumental figure in bringing the FIVB World Tour to Norway with events in Stavanger starting in 1999 and Kristiansand beginning in 2007. He also headed the organising committee for the 2009 FIVB World Championships at Stavanger in 2009.
Jan Kvalheim, Norway
A two-time beach volleyball Olympian for Norway playing in the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Games with Björn Maaseide. Kvalheim played pro volleyball in France in Arago Sète (1984-1989, French Cup champions in 1988) and AS Cannes (1989-1992, two-time French champions). On the beach, he and Maaseide won the 1994 European Championships and became FIVB World Tour champions the same season. The Kvalheim/Maaseide partnership netted Norway seven FIVB World Tour gold medals. He also was a member of the Norwegian organising committee that staged the 2009 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stavanger.
José Loiola, Brazil
Loiola played nine seasons on the FIVB World Tour where he competed in 66 tournaments with six difference partners (1992-2003). He competed in 41 final fours with 39 podium placements and 20 gold medals as he teamed with Emanuel Rego to capture the gold medal at the 1999 FIVB World Championships in Marseille, France. A Sydney 2000 Olympian for Brazil, Loiola teamed with Emanuel in 1999 to win a record six-straight tournaments on the FIVB World Tour highlighted by the World Championship title. The pair won 15 FIVB tournaments together in 35 starts with 26 medals. Loiola won five other international titles with Ricardo Santos, including the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Loiola and Ricardo also placed second at the 2001 FIVB World Championships in Klagenfurt, Austria. He won 35 on the American domestic circuit. His first title, an indoor tournament in 1995, marked the first time an American domestic event was won by foreign-born players, as he claimed the title with Eduardo “Anjinho” Bacil. In 2001, the FIVB chose Loiola and Rego as one of the two Best Beach Volleyball Teams of the '90s.
Guilherme Marques, Brazil
The venue manager for the beach volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Guilherme and Rogerio “Parra” Ferreira won the gold medal at the 1997 FIVB World Championships in Los Angeles and placed third at the 1999 World Championships in Marseille. Guilherme and Parra won seven FIVB World Tour gold medals together and were crowned the international circuit’s championships in 1998. Guilherme won his first FIVB title in 1990 with Andrè Lima Perlingeiro at Sete, France. At that event, Lima became the youngest player (20) to win a FIVB men’s gold medal. With 38 international podium placements in 83 events, Guilherme retired from international play in 2000.
Eduardo Jorge "Anjinho" Bacil Filho, Brazil
Nicknamed Anjinho, which means “Little Angel” in Portuguese, he is a native of Copacabana and was the first foreign player to win on the American domestic tour. He played won two American domestic titles, including a 1995 indoor event with Jose Loiola. A two-time Brazilian beach volleyball champion (1990 and 1991), Anjinho won the South American Beach Volleyball Championship in 1993. He played in the Brazilian professional indoor league for three seasons and was on the Brazilian men’s team from 1986 to 1992.
Antonio Carlos “Badalhoca” Gueiros Ribeiro, Brazil
Known as Badalhoca he competed in the Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games for Brazil. The 1984 team won the silver medal.
Giovane Gavio, Brazil
Giovane was a member of the Brazil men's volleyball team that won the gold medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics by defeating the Netherlands (3-0) in the final. Playing as an outside hitter, Gavio competed in three consecutive Olympics, starting in 1992. Later on he started a career in beach volleyball. At present day, he is the head coach of Superliga's most recent champions, SESI São Paulo. He is the only Brazilian player (and second overall, after Javier Weber) to win the Superliga both as player and coach.
Jackie Silva, Brazil
Jackie has been a volleyball and beach volleyball icon for more than two decades. Best described by former teammates as determined and devoted, Silva has more than 100 combined wins at beach and indoor events. At 18, the Rio de Janeiro native put her name in the record books by finishing seventh with the Brazilian women's volleyball team at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and again at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. After being a dominating player on the American women’s beach volleyball domestic tour with 41 titles in 73, events, Jackie teamed with Sandra Pires to win 12 FIVB events, including the women’s gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games followed by a World Championship in 1997 at Los Angeles. Inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, Jackie is also an accomplished philanthropist. The Jackie Silva Institute runs an anti-drug abuse sports project that serves approximately 4,000 Brazilian children in 30 different communities. The institute also collects tennis shoes for impoverished Brazilian children. Although more than 200 pairs have been donated since the program started, Silva has personally delivered each pair to a child in her country.
Antônio Carlos "Badalhoca" Ribeiro
Antônio Carlos "Badalhoca" Ribeiro is a former Brazilian volleyball player who was part of Brazil's silver medal campaign in Los Angeles 1984, Brazilian's first Olympic medal in the sport. Another milestone on Badalhoca's career was the victory at the gigantic Maracanã Stadim over the mighty USSR on July 26 1983 in front of an audience of over 95,000 people. He played in great teams such as Brazil's Atlantica Boavista, Fluminense and Italy's Modena. He also won the 1983 Pan American Games. In the middle of the 1980s he used to play beach volleyball with the likes of Bernard Rajzman, Bernardo Rezende and Renan Dal Zotto, but only for fun. Nowadays he is the owner of a Hostel in 'Visconde de Maua', a small village near to Rio de Janeiro.
Marco Túlio Teixeira
Marco Túlio Teixeira can be considered one of the precursors of professional beach volleyball. Registered as athlete number 1 by the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV), the former player started in the indoor game, playing alongside Badá and other greats at Fluminense, in Rio de Janeiro. On the beach, Túlio has two national titles (1987 and 88), medals at eight World Championships (1986 to 93) and was part of the team who created the Banco do Brasil National Circuit (1991). He has been part of the FIVB since 1997 and VP in the South-American Confederation.
Former Brazillian volleyball player Fernando Marques played in teams such as Brazil's Bradesco, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense and Volta Redonda for 15 years. He is also a former coach, working with Olympic champion Jackie Silva and Olympian Talita Rocha. Former coach of the Brazilian men's U19 team he was part of Brazilian Volleyball Confederation as beach volleyball manager from 2003 to 2012.
Franco Neto, Brazil
Franco started playing volleyball after participating in soccer where he was a goalkeeper on his high school’s team. After moving and learning there was not room on the soccer team at his new school, Franco starting playing volleyball. He began his beach volleyball career in 1989 and started competing on the FIVB World Tour with long-time partner Robert Lopes. The pair competed at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games where they were number 1 seeds. Franco has been a part of the No. 1 team on the Brazilian domestic tour three times (1993 and 1999 with Roberto Lopes, and 2004 with Tande Ramos). A bronze medal winner with Roberto Lopes at the 1999 Pan American Games in Canada, Franco competed for 22 seasons on the FIVB World Tour with 11 different partners. During this stretch, he also played three seasons in the late 1990s on the American domestic tour where he won two titles. In his FIVB career, he participated in 172 events with 16 gold medals, 31 title matches and 51 podium placements.