Among the less well informed members of the media and public
there were a number of misconceptions surrounding beach
volleyball prior to its introduction to a wider British audience at
Horse Guards Parade. But from the moment Xi Zhang and Chen
Xue stepped on to the sand to play Anastasia Vasina and Anna
Vozakova in the very first match of London 2012, a nation’s
scepticism changed.
The level of support by the great British public at the beach volleyball
competition was truly staggering, given that beach volleyball is not
a traditional sport in Great Britain. A total of 425,000 fans filled the
stands during the 13 days of competition. But it is not just about
statistical data but also the atmosphere the fans created.
Their enthusiasm and willingness to be carried along by the athleticism
of the players as well as the music and dancing created an unbelievable
energy on hallowed grounds surrounded by all of the most important
British government buildings. It was the real icing on the cake for the
players fighting for Olympic glory.
Delighted Britons
flock to the beach
‘It’s just incredible to be here…
surrounded by people from all
over the world who are having this
amazing time in our city’
The crowds waiting for the Horse Guards Parade gates to open