Rio de Janeiro, August 8, 2016 – A lucky Brazilian fan got a wonderful surprise when he watched the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women’s volleyball match of China and Italy at Maracanazinho on Monday.
China bounced back from their loss on the first day, with a great straight-set win over Italy. The Chinese side led by its captain Hui Ruoqi had the honour to give away an autographed match ball to one lucky spectator in the volleyball competition.
Hui tossed the ball to the crowd and an astounded young man named Tales, a native of Amazonas, caught the rare Olympic keepsake.
“Volleyball is popular from where I come from,” Tales said. “I’ve been watching this sport with my mother since I was young. I was a bit surprised because we were just sitting here and the Chinese captain Hui came and tossed the volleyball and I caught it.”
Tales is a big supporter of women’s volleyball and he was fortunate to watch two of his favourite teams – Italy and China – in the first match of the day.
“I like the Brazilian women’s team. I also like Italy, China and the United States,” Tales said. “My favourite, of course, is Chinese captain Hui and Sheilla of Brazil.”
Tales got more that what he came for as he was able to get the signed match ball after the match.
“For me, this is a very special volleyball because it is from the Olympic Games, but it was more special because it came from my idol Hui,” Tales said. “It’s a very important moment for me and I am very emotional. When I got the ball, I didn’t want to let go of it. I am very lucky.”
Tales is only one of the many fans that will be treated to a memorable experience at the Rio 2016 volleyball competition. With many more matches coming up, many more fans will have the opportunity to be part of the many surprises of the sport.