Maracanãzinho Magic: Volleyball lights up Rio 2016 Olympic Games


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 19, 2016 - With pulsating matches, remarkable displays of athleticism and an electric atmosphere, the volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has been one of the Games’ great success stories and it is undoubtedly worthy of the same level of limelight generated by beach volleyball.

Against the backdrop of Christ the Redeemer and in the shadow of the Maracanã, there couldn’t be a more fitting venue in the world to host Olympic volleyball than the Maracanãzinho also known as ‘little Maracana’.  It is one of the most iconic volleyball arenas in the world and has hosted some iconic matches over the past 12 days, including today’s women’s semifinal between the USA and Serbia, with the latter coming out on top in five pulsating sets to make their first Olympic final. 

Today’s match also saw China defeat the Netherlands to setup a showdown between the 2015 World Cup gold and silver medallists. 

By the time the competition concludes on Sunday, 76 matches and a total of 288 athletes would have entertained and inspired the enthralled crowds at the packed venue with a spectator capacity of 10,000.

The Maracanãzinho, home to Brazil's volleyball national teams, has attracted a daily average of 75 per cent maximum attendance during the competition and 244,654 spectators in total so far.

FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça said: “It comes as no surprise to me that the 14th edition of the Olympic volleyball competition has been an overwhelming success.  Volleyball is the number one sport in Brazil and the passion and enthusiasm for the sport has been on display every day at the Maracanãzinho helping to create the most spectacular competition.  At the FIVB we are committed to creating fans instead of spectators and this is exactly what we are achieving at the Maracanãzinho: we have spectators arriving for the event and inspired fans leaving.”

The success of the volleyball competition is firmly in line with the FIVB’s vision to make volleyball the number one family sport entertainment in the world. Fans of all nationalities spanning the generations have come to experience the greatest ever Olympic volleyball competition and they have been treated to an unparalleled level of sports presentation and fan engagement. The FIVB has set the standard for fan engagement at the Games. Music fills the downtime between points and when the lights go out at the Maracanãzinho and the music blasts out, the atmosphere is electric.

The FIVB is constantly looking for new ways to modernise the sport under FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça’s visionary leadership.  A number of exciting innovations have been introduced for the very first time at an Olympic Games volleyball competition including the Volleyball Challenge System and Electronic Team Tablets and the sport has confirmed its position as the signature event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


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