17
Talent factory
Brazil’s success under Dr Ary Graça
615
competitions (including
double-gender)
742
top three finishes
345
gold medals
206
silver medals
191
bronze medals
272
Olympic and world
champions
167
Olympic and world
champions still active
44
Olympic and world titles
6
Boys’ Youth world title
4
Men’s Junior world titles
3
Girls’ Youth world titles
6
Women’s Junior world titles
3
Men’s World Championship
titles in a row (2002-2010)
7
Olympic volleyball medals
(
men 2 gold, 2 silver; women
1
gold, 2 bronze)
9
Olympic beach volleyball
medals (men 1 gold, 2 silver,
1
bronze; women 1 gold,
3
silver, 1 bronze)
20
Beach volleyball world
titles in adult and youth
categories (men 11, women 9)
Championships in Argentina, Graça received, from President
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the Cross of Sporting Merit, his
country’s most important sporting honour.
Graça speaks five languages fluently – English, French, Spanish
and Italian along with his native Portuguese – and has a head
for business but, as he stresses, his success also comes with the
help of a heart that beats for volleyball. He played on for as
long as possible, winning gold at the World Masters Games in
Denmark in 1989 and again in Portland, USA in 1998.
I’ve breathed volleyball since I was a child. My experience as
an athlete was also essential to build my sport management
model. To think of volleyball as an industry and be able to
understand all parties involved has always been my focus.”
Married to Marina for over four decades, he has also fitted
in a happy family life as father to three daughters – Daniela,
Fabiana and Roberta – and seven grandchildren. “He is a very
loving father. He still takes his daughters in his arms and takes
good care of them,” said Marina. The volleyball family is in
good hands too.
Dr Graça posing in front
of FIVB Hero and fellow
countryman Emanuel Rego
Shaking hands with Khalid Ali
Al-Mawlawi, President of the Qatar
Volleyball Association, during the Club
World Championships in Doha, Dr Graça’s
first event as President of the FIVB
In action (second left) at the Brazil
Volei Master in November; as a player,
Dr Graça won the Brazilian national
championship six times