Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 21, 2016 – Brazil closed out the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games with Olympic gold at the Maracanazinho Arena on Sunday. Their 3-0 (25-22, 28-26, 26-24) win also ended a 12-year wait to be crowned Olympic champions following silver medal finishes at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Volleyball fans in Rio and across the glove were treated to a dominant display of volleyball from Bernardo Rezende’s charges and while they let one match point slip they made no mistake with the second.
Brazilian fans were sent into raptures and as images from inside Maracanazinho beamed around the globe, social media users responded in their droves.
Fans were tuning in across Italy and gathering at volleyball clubs up and down the boot to cheer on their heroes.
Trentino was packed out to roar on local favourites Filippo Lanza, Massimo Colaci and Simone Giannelli.
Another famous Italian tuning in was rugby captain Sergio Parisse, who was watching from his Paris home.
Brazil’s Rio 2016 football hero Neymar Jr came to watch and support Brazil, only a short distance from where he scored the winning penalty in the Rio 2016 football final against Germany.
The first two sets were hard fought, but Brazil won them both to go 2-0 ahead.
The third was equally tough, but Brazil grabbed the
initiative as the set drew to a close. They failed with their first match point, but made no mistake with their second.
News organisations took the news around the world in a matter of seconds.
USA Olympic Destinee Hooker was one of the first to send her congratulations to Brazil.
Athens 2004 gold medallists Gustavo also showed his delight and pointed out that Brazil have won Olympic gold every 12 years.
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Jack Sinitini said that Italy may be down about losing, but that they had filled the Italian nation with pride and honour at how they had played at Rio 2016.
On Sunday morning the USA men followed in their women’s team’s footsteps by winning the bronze medal with a win against London 2012 gold medallists Russia.
They did so in exciting fashion too, fighting back from losing the first two sets to win 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13).
USA women’s coach Karch Kiraly was quick to send his congratulations to John Speraw’s team.
He was joined in his praise by two of the USA’s beach volleyball team. Kerri Walsh Jennings who won Rio 2016 bronze alongside April Ross, and Lauren Fendrick.
For the USA players, coaches and staff the bronze was reward for four years of hard work and preparation and more importantly something to be celebrated.