Berlin, Germany, May 20, 2012 – Returning to Germany after a four-year absence, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour will be showcased during the US$600,000 smart Grand Slam summer festival to be held July 10-15 at the Berlin forest stage. Plans surrounding the return of the international professional beach volleyball were unveiled during a media conference Tuesday at the smart center Salzufer.
With several top German athletes and Olympic hopefuls participating at the media conference, Tournament Director Siegbert Brutschin revealed detailed plans for the summer spectacular along with several government, sponsor and promotional representatives all participating in the official announcement media conference.
While the FIVB SWATCH World Tour will be the focal point of the special event, weekend festivities will include live concerts with featured entertainment as well as a unique “Berlin City Girl” model search on Friday and Saturday (July 13-14). The smart Grand Slam will be the sixth of eight grand slams on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
Organizers also announced ambitious plans for the men’s gold medal match on Saturday, July 14 to raffle off a smart automobile as well as set an FIVB attendance record, hoping to surpass 18,000 fans in the 20,000-set Berlin forest stadium center court. The day’s schedule will include a Culcha Candela concert.
“The search for a large enough venue for this event in Berlin was not easy, but with the forest stage, we have found a very traditional place, " said Brutschin who has been part of world tour events since the first one in Berlin in 1995. "With the challenge to fill 20,000 seats, we have made a commitment and now want to obtain a new attendance world record. We will rely on the beach volleyball enthusiasm of the fans in Berlin and we will attempt to break the world record for the sport by exceeding 18,000 spectators at the men's final.”
FIVB SWATCH World Tour German athletes and Olympic hopefuls participating in the media conference were the top German men’s team of Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann along with the top German women’s team of Sara Goller/Laura Ludwig. The current German No. 2 women’s team, Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler was also featured at the conference.
The Olympic qualification window ends with the Rome Grand Slam on June 17 and the smart Grand Slam Berlin 2012 will be held just two weeks before the 2012 London Olympic Games, where the beach volleyball competition will be held July 28 through August 9.
"All the top international teams are very pleased that we are returning to Berlin after a four-year break,” said Goller, who with her teammate Ludwig are currently eighth in the FIVB SWATCH World Tour Olympic rankings. “The tournament has always been a highlight of the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour calendar and it will be great to be playing back in our home country again. Especially in our final preparations for the Olympics."
The two were given as well as Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in During the press conference at the smart center Salzufer symbolically passes the official Olympic DOSB the German Volleyball Federation (DVV) übereicht and the Berlin State Secretary Andreas Statzkowksi. The second women's team to have Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of the 4th Place last weekend in Beijing also secured in a very good starting position for the Olympic Games in London.
Winning the gold medals in 2008 in Berlin were Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos for the men while winning the women’s gold medals the last three visits to Berlin (2005, 2007, 2008) was USA’s Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh. While May-Treanor/Walsh are attempting to win their third consecutive Olympic gold medal, Emanuel is now playing with Alison Cerutti and Ricardo’s teammate is Pedro Cunha.
"Since 2003, the connection of the smart brand and beach volleyball has been an intensely active partnership and we are extremely proud of our team,” commented Matthias Pietza, Managing Director of IMG Germany and Austria. “As we are involved in national and international beach volleyball, we look forward to the new edition of the smart Grand Slam and the great innovative ideas for the event.
“We, as marketers with our Energy bundled with sand sports events, the true professionals in beach volleyball will be returning to Berlin. We have a new focus for this event and it is an interesting concept about the top sports developed: more entertainment, more live music and a model contest. I would also like to thank the City of Berlin and the title sponsor of smart for the implementation of the ideas. This event wouldn’t happen without your support to make it all possible."
Berlin is the only city the FIVB SWATCH World Tour has ever held a tournament in Germany in with the men starting in 1995 and the women in 2000. In all there have been 12 previous men’s tournaments in Berlin and six prior women’s events in Berlin.
With 21 total, Brazil has won the most medals overall in Berlin (15 men and six women), followed by USA with eight (two men, six women), Germany and Switzerland with four each (all men), Australia with three (two men, one women) while the other countries with men’s medals in Berlin are Aregentina and Norway (three each), Australia and Spain (two each) and Canada (one). The other countries with women’s medals in Berlin are China (three) and Cuba and Japan with one each.
Admission for the smart Grand Slam is free from Tuesday to Thursday. For the weekend, tickets will be available at the box office-Venutickets.
The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour will be coming to Berlin the week following the 1to1 energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland.
For more overall event information, visit www.grandslamberlin.de and for more model contest info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.