FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Gstaad | 9 - 14 July 2019


Press release

20 years of Gstaad celebrated

Saturday's Swatch Major Gstaad celebration honoring tournament director Ruedi Kunz

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2019 - With the women's gold medal match here Sunday closing out six days of beach volleyball action, the week-long FIVB World Tour event also was a celebration of 20 years competition in the Swiss Alps village.

Quick links - Beach volleyball:

Highlighting the celebration schedule was the return Saturday morning of more than 30 past participants in the Swatch Major Gstaad event led by Olympic beach volleyball gold medal winner Natalie Cook of Australia from the Sydney 2000 Summer Games.  In addition, American Olympic and world champions Phil Dalhausser and Kerri Walsh Jennings were present after being eliminated for the 2019 Swatch Major Gstaad.

The reunion of past and present FIVB World Tour players

The Saturday morning gathering of past and present players was a surprise for Swatch Major Gstaad tournament director Ruedi Kunz, the individual behind the creation of the longest running event in the 33-year history of FIVB World Tour that started in 1987 for men and 1992 for women.

"I had no idea that Saturday's event was to honor me," said Kunz.  "We started small with a women's-only event in 2000 and we added the men's competition in 2001.  Now we rank as one of the premier beach volleyball events in the world.  The key to our success is the people behind the scene, especially all the volunteers."  

Ruedi Kunz (left) with FIVB technical delegate Robert Reggiani, who has been associated with the World Tour since 1987 as a referee, promoter and delegate

This year's Swatch Major Gstaad attracted over 550 volunteers from Switzerland and the surrounding European countries.  "These are the special people that make this event," said Kunz.  “No event can succeed without the volunteers.  And many of the volunteers comeback year after year.”

Another highlight for the 20th anniversary celebration was the production of a 168-page book by Kunz wife Magi, who played on the FIVB World Tour in the late 1990s and placed fourth with Nicole Schnyder-Benoît at the 1998 European Championships.

The limited-edition book "tells the stories and anecdotes previously reserved for the insiders only," Magi said.  With numerous pictures illustrating 20 years of the Gstaad beach volleyball history, the book also includes a Swatch watch included in the cover.

Finally, here are facts and figures for the Swatch Major Gstaad:

Facts of the volunteers of 20 years
·121 members in the organisation committee
·8,539 volunteers in total
·86 volunteers have worked at the event more than 10x

Facts 2019
·557 Volunteers, 218 of them from the region of Gstaad, 339 from other regions or countries
·The youngest volunteer born in 2010, oldest born in 1939
·Volunteer with the longest travel to Gstaad: from Warsaw, Poland, 1527km
·7 families
·Long-time volunteers: Jolanda Birrer, Köbi Kölliker, Käthi Matti
·Smallest volunteer 1,20m, tallest volunteer 1,96m
·Volunteers from Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Poland
·238 volunteers with overnight stay
·12,440 vouchers (food, drinks) during the week

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

17.07.2019 21:50:29
Polish & Swiss pairs pace Edmonton women's qualifier

Edmonton, Canada, July 17, 2019 - Led by women's beach volleyball pairs from Poland and Switzerland, eight teams from six countries advanced from the ... More...

14.07.2019 17:38:03
Playing behind in Gstaad sparks Klineman & Ross to gold

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2019 - It seemed like all April Ross and Alix Klineman had to do for a week was get behind in a match. Then, look out. ... More...

14.07.2019 13:30:57
20 years of Gstaad celebrated

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2019 - With the women's gold medal match here Sunday closing out six days of beach volleyball action, the week-long FIVB... More...

14.07.2019 12:32:42
100th Brazil vs. United States women's gold medal match awaits Gstaad audience

14.07.2019 07:14:00
Betschart & Huberli seek Swiss success in Gstaad

13.07.2019 17:35:18
Brazil’s Ana Patricia & Rebecca upset world champions

12.07.2019 23:28:28
Olympic & world championship flavour in men's Gstaad semis

12.07.2019 18:39:06
Bruno seeking Gstaad repeat

11.07.2019 23:04:16
Trimming the Swatch Major Gstaad field continues Friday

11.07.2019 00:44:47
Elimination Thursday at the Swatch Major Gstaad

10.07.2019 10:18:11
Gstaad by the numbers

10.07.2019 00:26:21
Doppler & Walsh Jennings reach Gstaad milestone moments

09.07.2019 23:48:00
All eyes on host country pairs at Swatch Major Gstaad Wednesday

08.07.2019 23:13:32
Qualifying Tuesday at the Gstaad Major

01.11.2018 16:13:24
Gstaad celebrates No. 20