Milan, Italy, October 13, 2014 – The success of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2014 is proof that the sport is heading in the right direction according to President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° as the competition concluded in Italy on Sunday.
USA made history by beating China to clinch their first ever gold medal following an electric two weeks of top quality volleyball.
The final took place just after the FIVB announced its latest partnership with Rosetta Stone as the organisation looks to improve communication on court between athletes and referees.
“The global spread of volleyball has been made evident by the Championships this year – which have been the most successful in FIVB history,” he said. “The fact that world No. 10 the Dominican Republic got so far through the competition demonstrates how the sport is developing beyond the usual stars in Russia and Brazil. We are seeing new stars emerging all the time from every corner of the world and this assures me that we are heading in the right direction as a federation.
“This will be enhanced even further as FIVB athletes and referees engage in Rosetta Stone programmes in the future. While this will ensure clarity and friendship on court, it will also help to inspire the younger generation of athletes. I am delighted that we have signed such a prestigious and game-changing partnership and also very proud to be the President of the first International Federation to initiate such a programme.”
Almost 13,000 fans packed into the stadium for the final game of the 17th edition of World Championship, which saw 102 matches played over the course of two weeks in six of Italy’s major sporting cities.
Looking ahead to the future, President Graça continued:
“Our next big development for 2015 will be the new LED nets which will be massive step for the commercial appeal of volleyball. These nets are for the fans. As the Rosetta Stone partnership will enhance communication on court, the LED net will facilitate communication between the athletes competing and the fans that are cheering for them.”
He also said that volleyball is in fine health as the sport begins to turn its attention to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“The first semi-final match between Brazil and the USA on Saturday marked the 50 year anniversary of volleyball’s inclusion in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964,” he continued. “Volleyball is an ever-changing and ever-progressing game. It is completely different from the game I used to play as an athlete and it is part of my mission as President to ensure that this evolution and modernisation continues so that we can engage people of all ages from all over the world. After over 50 years, volleyball will be coming home to Rio in 2016, where fans will see the sport’s most spectacular show yet – both in our fully-packed stadiums and on Rio’s iconic Copacabana beach.”
The FIVB Congress, which will take place from October 31 – November 1 in Cagliari, Sardinia, will be an opportunity for the FIVB to discuss the latest innovations and developments for the future of volleyball, including the new LED net which was previewed at selected areas during both the Men’s and the Women’s World Championships in Poland and Italy respectfully.