Lausanne, Switzerland, April 19, 2013 - With just a few days until the beach volleyball season opening event, the Fuzhou Open, gets underway, Brazilian beach volleyball legend Sandra Pires, a 1996 Olympic champion and Sydney 2000 Olympic bronze medallist champion, looks ahead to the next nine months in which new female FIVB world champions and FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour winners will be crowned, as part of the FIVB blog series.
“Change is the only constant in life’ and no one is aware of this maxim as much as a beach volleyball player who has made the decision to retire.
“I can empathise with my colleagues who decided to leave professional competition after last year’s Olympic Games as it was probably not an easy decision to take. We’re all still competitors at heart and the thrill of chasing each point and thinking tactically will always be part of us, which sometimes makes it difficult to accept having to watch the action from the side lines.
“Nevertheless, it is pleasant to have the opportunity to wind down and take some time to work out where to go next. I know from personal experience that taking the step to start something new encourages personal growth. And when you move out of your comfort zone you are challenged to push the boundaries and achieve the best for yourself.
“The excitement is no doubt building for those beach volleyball players starting the season with a new partner. Having had the opportunity to partner with many excellent players during my career, I know how much work is involved in forming a cohesive unit, where each player understands the other’s style and timing.
“It is a process which requires time, patience and most of all respect and one in which two players get to know each other well given the amount of time they spend with each other over the season. But it is only in this way that both partners can work towards a common set of goals and priorities with success. I can tell there is no greater feeling than finding the perfect rhythm with the person beside you on the court, for this is when the magic happens!
“Unfortunately, there is no specific recipe to ensure that two excellent players will come together to form a winning team. And with so many new pairings for the 2013 beach volleyball season, it is difficult to make any prediction about who will win this year.
“All I know is that 2013 can be anyone’s year and I am filled with anticipation to see the energy and enthusiasm this year’s crop of talent can bring to the courts.”
Sandra Pires is a three-time Olympian from Brazil. She won gold with Jackie Silva at the 1996 Games in Atlanta – the first year beach volleyball was introduced as a medal sport – bronze with Adriana Samuel in 2000 in Sydney and fifth place in Athens with Ana Paula Connelly. As a commentator for Globo Sport TV, Sandra has covered the London 2012 Games and the 2012 Brazilian national tour.
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