It is a privilege to see volleyball return to Rio, the sport's spiritual home, for the 14th edition of an Olympic Games volleyball tournament that promises to be the most spectacular yet!
Players will have been dreaming of this moment and now it is finally upon us we can enjoy the greatest celebration of our sport in Olympic history in the iconic Maracanazinho Stadium, set against an amazing backdrop.
The Olympic Games represent the pinnacle of an athlete’s career and we are fortunate to have 24 extremely talented men’s and women’s teams who are ready to entertain and amaze a worldwide audience.
Volleyball was first included on the Olympic programme at the Tokyo 1964 Games and it has gone on to become one of the most popular events; volleyball and beach volleyball together account for the second highest ticket sales in Rio.
The men’s London 2012 Olympic champions, Russia, will be eager to defend their title and the women’s defending champions, Brazil, will hope that the passionate home support will lead them once again to the title of Olympic champions.
London 2012 was a resounding success for volleyball and a significant milestone in the development of our sport. More than 10 per cent of all tickets sold at the London Games were for volleyball matches, making it one of the top five sports at the Games.
I’m excited by the prospect of building on that success this year as we welcome generations of fans who will come together to enjoy our sport - which is fast becoming the number one family entertainment sport in the world - in the greatest setting!
Dr. Ary S. Graça F°