Did you know…
London will host the 2012 Olympic Volleyball Tournament. A maximum of 12 teams will participate in the event. The United Kingdom and Brazil -2008 Olympic gold medal- have qualified for the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Curiously, Great Britain has never competed in the Pre-Olympics, World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games. Great Britain did not qualify for the European Championships in 2007.
The People’s Republic of China, Brazil and Russia are the favorites for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. China won the gold medal at the Girls’ Under- 18 World Volleyball Championships in Mexico in 2007.
The United States hopes to win its first world title in 2009. With Lang Ping as coach -a former Chinese volleyball player who had taken part in the 1982 World Cup and 1984 Olympics- the U.S. women’s volleyball team trains very hard for the 2009 World Cup in Tokyo (Japan).
From 1962 to 1967, Japan dominated the international tournaments and players from that Asian country won two World Championships.
Venezuela qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics through the South American Pre-Olympic in Lima, Peru. For the first time, Venezuela defeated Peru 3-2 ( 22-25, 27-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12). Curiously, Venezuela has never participated in the World Championships or Olympic Games. In 1982, Venezuela finished 5th place at the Central American & Caribbean Games…
Russia has got seven world championships ( USSR ‘ 52, France ‘ 56, Brazil ‘ 60, Bulgaria ‘ 70, Uruguay ‘ 73, China ‘ 90, Japan ‘ 06 ) and four Olympic titles (Mexico ‘ 68, West Germany ‘ 72, USSR ‘ 80, South Korea ‘ 88).
In 1980, South Korea -one of the world’s best volleyball teams- did not send a team to the Pre-Olympics in Bulgaria. Why ? Between 1948 and 1987, South Korea -an anti-Communist state in the 20th century- did not establish formal diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. The tournament was part of the Olympic qualification system for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Algeria -which won the gold medal at the 2007 Pan African Games- is the first Arab team to participate in the Olympic Games (Beijing 2008).
From 1952 to 1973, China did not compete in the World Championships ( Moscow ‘ 52, Paris ‘ 56, Rio ‘ 60, Moscow ‘ 62, Tokyo ‘ 67, Sofia ‘ 70 ) and Asian Games ( Jakarta ‘ 62, Bangkok ‘ 66, Bangkok ‘ 70 ). Why ? Because the People’s Republic of China was not member of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball ( FIVB ). In 1974, China became an official member of the FIVB. This nation made its international debut at the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran (Iran). Three weeeks later, China competed in the World Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. In the preliminary round, China lost two matches: Poland (3-1) and Japan (3-0/ 1972 Olympic champion).The People’s Republic of China finished in 14th place -among 24 nations- at the 1974 FIVB World Championships. In the 1980s, China became the first country to win 5 of 8 major volleyball tournaments:
1980: China boycotted the Moscow Olympics
1981: Japan World Cup-1st place
1982: Peru World Championships-1st place
1984: Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games-1st place
1985: Japan World Cup-1st place
1986: Czechoslovakia World Championships-1st place
1988: South Korea Olympic Games-3rd place
1989: Japan World Cup- 3rd place
South Korea won the FIVB U-20 World Championship in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1977. Korea beat China for the gold medal. For the first time, three volleyball teams from Asia competed in the finals (Korea, China and Japan).
Massachusetts (United States) is the birthplace of volleyball…
The Romanian women’s volleyball squad won the gold medal at the 1980 World Olympic Qualification in Varna (Bulgaria). Final standings:
Like many former Soviet-bloc nations, Ukraine was one of the last members of the FIVB. Surprisingly, Ukraine won the silver medal at the 1993 World Youth Championships in South America.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea / North Korea -which won the Olympic bronze medal in Munich in 1972- did not want to compete in the World Championships in 1974. The team also did not participate in the Asian Cup in Melbourne (Australia) in 1975.
Mexico hosted the 2007 Girl’s Youth World Championships. There were 16 teams: Mexico, Serbia, South Korea, Belarus, Brazil, Japan, Puerto Rico, Germany, Italy, Russia, Dominican Republic, Peru, China, USA, Tunisia and Turkey.
Nigeria became the first black African team to qualify for the FIVB World Cup in 1982. On September 14, Peru -1979 Pan American silver medalist- upset Nigeria -African champion- in the opener of the World Cup. The score was 15-0, 15-0,15-0.
Volleyball is one of the most popular Olympic sports in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, North Korea and the People’s Republic of China.
The United States won the gold medal at the 1981 NORCECA Tournament. The U.S. women’s volleyball team won the international tournament after losing in the final three times in a row ( 1975, 1977, 1979 ).
In the 1980s, Maria Salgado Barroso (Brazilian volleyball player) played in the Japanese Volleyball League.
Minorka Marisela Mercado Carrero was one of the “most beautiful volleyball players” in the world. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she played for Venezuela. Minorka represented her country at the 1989 World Youth Cup in Lima, Peru. On September 3, 1993 she became the second sportswoman elected Miss Venezuela. Minorka was discovered by Osmel Sousa -Director of Miss Universe Venezuela. Under the direction of Osmel, she was second runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in 1994…
The German Democratic Republic / East Germany -Olympic silver medalist in 1980- did not compete at the FIVB Women’s World Cup in Peru in 1982.
The first Women’s Volleyball World Cup was in Moscow ( USSR / Russia) in 1952.
The U.S. women’s volleyball team has not won the World Championships.