Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2016 - USA and Puerto Rico will lock horns in an all-NORCECA clash on the first competition day at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The two sides will face each other in a women’s Pool B fixture on Saturday.
The Americans earned their spot at Rio 2016 by winning the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, while the Puerto Ricans filled up the last available Olympic vacancy by winning the World Olympic Qualification Tournament at home.
For the volleyball ladies from the small Caribbean island this participation is already a historic success since they have never played at the Olympic Games before.
The current world champions from the United States are, of course, on the opposite end of the Olympic experience scale. The Americans have played at 10 of the 13 women’s Olympic volleyball tournaments so far, missing out only the Games at Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980.
Their first medal came at their home Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, when they celebrated with silver. USA added two more silver medals to their record – from the last two editions of the Games – Beijing 2008 and London 2012. They also have a bronze from Barcelona 1992, but have never triumphed as Olympic champions.
USA and Puerto Rico met in one of the semifinals of the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament. On October 1, 2015, in Morelia, Mexico, the Americans shut out the Caribbeans by 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-17).