London 2012

Press release

"Volleyball a unique synthesis of all athletic abilities" says LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe

LOCOG chairman Lord Sebastian Coe was also in attendance for the second match of Team GB in the men's volleyball tournament, together with FIVB Executive Vice President Aleksandar Boricic and British Volleyball Federation President, Richard Callicott

London, Great Britain, July 31, 2012 – A special guest joined some 15,000 fans on Tuesday evening for the second match of Team GB in the men’s volleyball tournament of the London Olympics. Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the LOCOG, showed up to cheer on the local heroes captained by Ben Pipes who were playing their second preliminary match at Earls Court, with a young but promising Australian side standing on the other side of the net.

“I am not very much surprised by this massive crowd because I expected this” says Coe. “This is just fabulous, but well-deserved for all the people that have been working so hard in the past few years to develop and promote this sport around the country. They have been extremely pro-active and I am absolutely delighted that volleyball, as many other sports, is enjoying a truly global exposure since the Olympics are taking place in a city like London. This is the advantage of having the Games here, as you can involve a global audience. At the same time we have to accept that most of the people here tonight may have very little knowledge of the sport. This is probably the first time they are watching a volleyball game but with this scenario I am sure they will be falling in love with the sport”.

The motto of the London Olympics, “Inspire a generation”, clearly identifies the goal set by the local organizers which is to contribute a unique legacy for the sport in Great Britain. This is particularly true also for volleyball, since this discipline was not very popular among the British citizens. “If I have to make a wish for volleyball and our teams, I do hope that GB wins tonight” says Coe. “But actually my real wish is that via these Games we will get many young people involved, thereby making sure that we can guarantee a long-lasting legacy for the sport once the Games will be over”.

Coe is fond of volleyball and has taken beautiful impressions also from his visit at Horse Guards Parade, the iconic venue chosen for playing host to the beach volleyball competition. “It just rocks but Earls Court does it as well” stresses the two-time Olympic champion from Moscow and Los Angeles. “Volleyball is a unique synthesis of speed, agility, strength and coordination. It finally portrays the perfect athlete and with the addition of that scenario here at Earls Court, you can’t ask for a better showcase of volleyball’s beauty and appeal”.    


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