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Two-time Olympic winner Fabi ends her playing career

 
Fabi in action during her last FIVB competition – the 2017 Club World Championship
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 24, 2018 – The playing career of two-time Olympic champion Fabiana de Oliveira came to an end on Sunday, as 38-year-old Fabi announced her retirement at the end of the Brazilian Superliga season.


Known as one of the best volleyball liberos in history, Fabi ended her 20 fabulous years as a professional athlete with a prestigious silver medal in her country’s national championship with the club team she had played for since 2005, Sesc Rio de Janeiro, losing the final series to Dentil/Praia Clube Uberlandia in a golden set.


With the Olympic gold medals from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as the highlights of Fabi’s national team career, the Brazilian standout also claimed silver medals from the FIVB Volleyball World Championships in 2006 and 2010 and the FIVB Volleyball World Cup in 2007, as well as two gold and one silver medals from the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup and five gold and three silver medals from the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix. With her team from Rio de Janerio, Fabiana de Oliveira won two silver medals at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championships, the most recent one from the latest edition in 2017.


The superb qualities of the Brazilian player were underlined by the multiple individual awards she has received, including those for Best Libero of the 2008 Olympic Games, Best Libero of the 2009 World Grand Champions Cup, Best Receiver of the 2011 World Cup, Best Libero of the World Grand Prix in 2002 and in 2013, Best Libero of the 2016 Club World Championship and many more.

Fabi (the first from the right) awarded as Best Libero of the 2002 World Grand Prix in Hong Kong

“It is a difficult decision that has been maturing for some time,” said Fabiana de Oliveira in an emotional statement. “I followed the farewells of Dante and Andre Nascimento, two players who have inspired me, but my own decision had already been made. I am happy because for 20 years I did what I like the most in life, which is to play volleyball. I could have never imagined that I would come this far. After many victories and defeats, my feeling is that of duty fulfilled. Volleyball gave me a life opportunity to become a better person. It is a privilege to do the sport and to live the sport. I hope that whoever saw me on the court saw a lot of dedication and love for what I do.”


Fabi’s announcement came only one day after 39-year-old Andre Nascimento and two days after 37-year-old Dante Amaral, both Olympic champions from Athens 2004 with the Brazilian men’s national team, put an end to their legendary careers after their club teams completed their participation in the domestic championship for the season.


“It is time! I want to thank everyone for the support,” three-time world champion Dante said after his last match. “I remember going to Goiania to start my career. It seems like yesterday. It is unbelievable how fast time flies. I hope I have left some legacy, especially for kids. Officially, I am leaving the court, but I will continue in volleyball to pursue an old dream of mine, which is to develop a social project to teach the sport to children in need and soon I will have news to share with you.”


“I am very grateful for everything,” echoed two-time world champion Andre Nascimento the following day. “I was really getting ready for this moment and I am happy.”



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