#365volley facts - August
The info campaign #365volley continues! Every day we will post interesting facts from the volleyball world, for 1 year, on our Facebook page. The materials have been researched by the international volunteers Alexandra (Portugal), Azer (Azerbaijan) and Alejandro (Spain) and prepared by Andreea (Romania). Follow us on Facebook to find out more about its history, variations, playing rules and more about this world!
Here are the August facts!
1. Indoors, the U.S. women were atop the world rankings entering Rio but left with bronze. They've never won an Olympic gold medal, just three silvers and two bronzes. The American indoor men own three Olympic gold, tied for first all-time with Brazil and the Soviet Union. The U.S. men also have two bronze medals, putting their overall Olympic medal count third.
2. Bronze was all the Americans could produce in Rio, as the indoor men and women placed third, as did Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross on the beach.
3. You should know: Take a look before you shoot. Know where the end line is. Keep your eyes open at all times.
4. China earns its place on this list solely from the strength of its women, as the Chinese men have yet to collect a medal at a major international competition.
5. The Chinese women own two beach volleyball Olympic medals, four beach worlds medals, six Olympic indoor medals, and five worlds indoor medals. Those numbers put them in the top five for each competition. The indoor women won their third Olympic gold in Rio, a tally that trails only the Soviet Union.
6. Russia has made little impact in beach volleyball (just one World Championship medal, though a men's pair, did place fourth in Rio) but has long been a force indoors. The medal counts are skewed because Russia gets credit for many of the medals won by the former Soviet Union. But Russia was obviously a large part of the USSR.
7. Before its dissolution, the Soviet Union captured 12 Olympic volleyball medals, which remains No. 1 overall. Russia owns six such medals--six in the past six games.
8. The best Russia could manage in Rio, however, was fourth place by the men's indoor team (losing to the U.S. in the bronze-medal match) and fourth for the beach duo of Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov.
9. This fifth spot goes to Germany because of its rise on the beach. German men took the 2012 Olympic beach volleyball gold, and German women topped the podium in Rio. Both times, the German duos knocked off Brazilians in the Olympic final. Furthermore, Germans have won five World Championship medals on the beach (trailing only Brazil and the U.S. in the overall count).
10. You should know: Read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” to give you perspective when your jump serving is failing.
11. Indoors, only East Germany has collected Olympic medals (men's silver in 1972, women's silver in 1980). But the German/East German men won two World Championship medals, most recently a bronze in 2014, and the German women have collected two medals in the World Grand Prix. Neither the indoor men nor women qualified for Rio, however.
12. Time to see some facts about famous players, starting with Giba.
Gilberto Godoy Filho, better known as Giba, was born on December 23, 1976 in Brazil. He is currently a former volleyball player and is considered according to the highest sports organizations, players, journalists and technical directors, as one of the best players ever seen on the planet.
13. With the Brazilian National Team he won a total of 8 South American Championships, 3 America's Cups, 8 World League titles, 3 World Grand Champions Cups, three World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010) and the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he was the team's captain.
14. Giba is not very tall for a volleyball player but he made up his height limitation with his unique physical skills and jumping abilities. In his playing days he was considered one of the best wing spikers in the world. Giba was not only appreciated for his spectacular play but he also had desire, appeal and drive that made him loved by volleyball fans all over the world
15. He was named a captain of the national team because of his leadership skills. He was recognized for his highly energetic personality which was helping to motivate the whole Brazilian team to play its best. Brazil was considered nearly unbeatable in the 2000s and Giba was a big part of its success.
16. Giba in 2016 selected as President of the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) Athletes Commission. The Commission is made up of 10 athletes from nine different countries representing both volleyball and beach volleyball and will be officially launched at the Volleyball House in Rio during the 2016 Olympic Games in the presence of the IOC and the IOC Athletes' Commission.
17. You should know: Make sure you own any ball you kick in frustration.
18. Wilfrido León is a Cuban who was born on July 31, 1993. He was a silver medalist of the world championship in 2010. He is multi-champion of the Cuban league and subtitle of the Pan American Games of Guadalajara. In 2012 the Circle of Sports Chroniclers of Cuba chose him as the best athlete of the year in joint sports on the Island.
19. He started to play when he was 7. His first coach was his mother Alina. Wilfredo León Venero debuted in the Cuban national team on May 24, 2008 in Düsseldorf, aged 14 years and 10 months. He won the title of Best Receiver at World League 2009. On July 31, 2009 as the youngest player of tournament.
20. Leon may be one of the best players of all time considering all of the accomplishments he has made while still so young, having won every single title at pro level at the age of 24.
21. On July 14, 2015 he received Polish citizenship and expressed his desire to play in the Poland men's national volleyball team.
22. After losing the final against Brazil, Cuba won a silver medal at the World Championship 2010. He was the youngest captain of the national team (he was 17).
23. Ivan Zaytsev is a professional player from Russia who nationalized Italian. He has gone through several of the most important clubs in the country he represents and has always stood out for his skill and technical ability. There are many individual achievements he has obtained for his ability to resolve.
24. You should know: Never mix ice cream and beer the night before a match.
25. Ivan Zaytsev, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Tsar’, has sport in his DNA: his father is Vjačeslav Zajcev who won gold with the Soviet volleyball team at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, while his mother, Irina Pozdnjakova, was a champion swimmer who set a world record at the age of 13.
26. Ivan was born in Italy while his father was playing volleyball in the Umbrian town of Spoleto, but it wasn't until he was seven that he took up the game himself while the family was living in St Petersburg, Russia.
27. When he was 10, his family moved to in Italy and a few years later he joined the youth-team of Perugia Volley. He played in Serie A1 at 16, staying for two seasons before moving to Rome in the 2006/2007 season.
28. Ivan's career with the Italian national team has also been rewarding, winning Olympic bronze at London 2012 and silver at 2016), while in the 2015 World Cup in Japan he added another silver medal and was named Best Opposite Hitter of the tournament.
29. Mariusz Wlazly is a Polish volleyball player who has a very particular history, mostly because in the first discipline he tried to train, it was swimming. With the passage of time he realized that his thing was actually volleyball, a sport in which he has figured internationally and is recognized as one of the best
30. He signed a contract with Qatari club Al-Arabi Doha on the duration of the Emir Cup (only 2 matches). All money earned on this contract went to his foundation for student's scholarships.
31. You should know: If you’re losing, make a change. If you think you’re trying your hardest try a little harder.