Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 20, 2015 – The FIVB Volleyball World League Finals in Rio de Janeiro have been celebrated as the ideal start to the Rio 2016 test events as the volleyball family readies itself for the sport’s most important Olympic Games next year.
Rio 2016’s Volleyball Sports Manager, Giovane Gávio, who is a major world volleyball star with a world championship title in 2002 and as an Olympic champion in 1992 and 2004, was delighted with the outcome of the test event: "This is an excellent result. I am very happy with the way in which the Finals engaged with the public here. There is no doubt volleyball will be the signature event of the Games next year.”
Giovane highlighted the great experience Brazilians have in organizing high-profile volleyball events and the importance of observing the adjustments that will be required for the Olympic Games. "The organization of the event was extraordinary. We have here in Brazil many qualified people to contribute to the organization of such large events and Olympic adjustments will be made naturally.”
FIVB Secretary General, Fernando Lima, praised the quality of the event. "I am very pleased. We saw a high technical level of competition combined with great participation from the public who gave their full support - despite Brazil not being among the four finalists. It was great to test the Challenge System, which is indispensable for the sport today, and also the LED net which will ensure that the competition is as dynamic and exciting as possible for volleyball fans at the Olympic Games next year. As the President Ary Graça says, volleyball seeks continued innovation."
Doug Beal, CEO of USA Volleyball and coach of the first United States team to win men's volleyball Olympic gold in 1984, said: "Maracanazinho is a great setting for players and will provide a sensational stage for Olympic volleyball in 2016. Athletes from around the world love to play here at this historic venue and the Brazilian fans know volleyball very well. Volleyball will be one of the most popular sports at Rio 2016 – and with the battle for medals fiercer than ever before, we are sure to witness one of the best Olympic volleyball tournaments of all time."