London 2012

Press release

Olympic spirit and values quickly turn into reality at Earls Court


Chinese fans at Earls Court in the opening day of the volleyball tournament

London, Great Britain, July 28, 2012 – The Olympics are known for bringing people together in a spirit of friendship and fair play and that message was clearly promoted also by the fabulous opening ceremony followed by billions of people around the world on Friday night.

As the volleyball tournament got started at Earls Court more than 13,000 people filled up the stands of this gigantic facility where the Olympics are coming back after boxing, wrestling, artistic gymnastics and weightlifting had all taken place here back in 1948.

Such a large audience was quite a surprise, especially since volleyball is not that popular in Great Britain, but the Olympics have got their special flavor and even out of curiosity people want to be part of this magnificent show.

Jerry and Maiko form an international couple that absolutely fits to the multi-cultural and open-minded atmosphere London is known for. He is Chinese, was born in Shanghai and has been spending the past six years in the United Kingdom. She is Japanese, got to know his partner in Singapore and on Saturday morning they both came over to cheer on their respective national teams.

Maiko was evidently happy with Japan’s speedy win over Algeria and like many of her compatriots she is pretty familiar with the sport. “Volleyball is very popular in Japan and everyone plays it at school. We all know the rules of the game and enjoy watching it live”. Captain Erika Araki is her favorite player, actually also the only one she did know before this game.

Jerry was not less happy and satisfied with the performance displayed by China in its first match of the tournament, which ended up in a 3-1 win over the 2011 European champions of Serbia. “I did not have the chance to attend the Beijing Olympics four years ago since by that time I had already moved to Europe, so I did not want to miss this opportunity to follow at least some events here in London. We have got tickets also for the bronze medal match of the women’s volleyball tournament and who knows… Maybe Japan and China will play each other for a spot on the podium. In this case we will first have a family war” he smiles.

He does speak some Japanese while she knows little Chinese, but live in England after meeting in Singapore: with this background they could not portray any better the Olympic spirit whose main goal is to bring people together to promote peace, inclusion, integration and fair play. Jerry was delighted to be informed that China opened its Olympic campaign by winning gold and bronze this morning in the women’s air rifle event, quite a good omen for a remake of the terrific results claimed by the Asian giant four years ago in Beijing. “We have got a strong team here as well, I guess” he says. “I’d love to attend also some track and field events, especially the 100 m final, but it won’t be easy as everyone wants to be there”.

As for yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Olympic stadium, Maiko says “it was very British but funny. I especially liked the appearance of Mr. Bean (actor Rowan Atkinson) and the queen playing the role of a ‘bond girl’, that was really great”. Team Japan and China still have got a long way to the Olympic podium but Jerry and Maiko hope they will be back at Earls Court in less than two weeks to cheer again on their heroines as they vie for a medal. “Honestly, even though we’ve got tickets for the bronze medal match I would prefer to have Japan playing for gold” she jokes. Surrounded by a large crowd of Chinese fans, this young Japanese lady did nevertheless feel very comfortable.

“These Games bring many hopes”, so IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge in his speech on Friday right before the Olympics were officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. “Hope for harmony and peace between the 204 National Olympic Committees. Hope to see the young generations inspired by the values of sport”. And the hope to see people come together regardless of nationality, race or religion. It is only day 1 here in London but with Jerry and Maiko this wish has already turned into reality.


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
27.12.2012 14:44:20
Olympic Beach Volleyball review – What to expect in Rio?
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 27, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the success of beach volleyball at t... More...
26.12.2012 09:41:42
Olympic Volleyball review - Stunning finals highlight terrific tournament
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the outstanding volleyball competiti... More...
20.12.2012 17:11:37
Beach volleyball voted one of the highlights of London 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2012 – Beach volleyball has been named as one of the highlights of the 2012 London Olympic Games by Olympic.org.... More...
12.09.2012 18:24:41
Brink and Reckermann handling celebrity well
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 12, 2012 – With Europe’s first beach volleyball gold around their necks, Brink and Reckermann have become genuine sta... More...
28.08.2012 16:58:48
Walsh reflects on May-Treanor retirement, while her career moves ahead
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 28, 2012 – As three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh appears to have wrapped up her 2012 season, the FIVB looks back on... More...
24.08.2012 17:25:22
May-Treanor's retirement brings an end to the sport's greatest pairing
London, Great Britain, August 24, 2012 – Three weeks after the end of the London Olympics, the FIVB reflects on the amazing team of Misty May-Treanor ... More...
22.08.2012 09:57:22
Russia sets the bar high, but expect big changes from Brazil and USA, says Tom Hoff
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22, 2012 - In a final retrospective on the London Olympics, former USA captain Tom Hoff talks about the Russian players ... More...
21.08.2012 14:57:51
Olympic beach volleyball sand distributed
London, Great Britain, August 20, 2012 - Over 4,000 tons of sand has been donated by The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) from the temporary b... More...
12.08.2012 18:31:48
Russia come from behind to win Olympic title after 32 years, Brazil and Italy get silver and bronze
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – The last day of action of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court provided all fans with the right cli... More...
12.08.2012 18:30:00
Brazilian legend Giba calls time on career
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – Brazil captain and legend Giba has called time on his 20-year international career after the heart-breaking 3... More...