FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011


FIVB Heroes celebrated in Japan

As part of the promotion of the FIVB Heroes campaign, three-dimensional giant statues of Russia's Ekaterina Gamova and Brazil's Murilo were unveiled in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan, 24 November 2011 - The FIVB continued its FIVB Heroes campaign in Japan during the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup in fine fashion.

"Our mission is to bring the spectacular of volleyball to the world," emphasised FIVB President Jizhong Wei. "The World Cup in Japan offers another great opportunity for us to promote the sport."

FIVB started a rebranding project about a year ago that includes a new corporate logo and a whole new look and feel to its events. The new PR campaign is a core element of the project.

FIVB Executive Vice President André Meyer explains: "We are asking our top athletes in both variants – beach volleyball and volleyball – to get into the spotlight, to further promote volleyball as a highly athletic and highly professional sport, played around the globe with a strong brand in the background. This is what we are aiming for. No one can tell the story of our sport better than the athletes themselves. They are perfect role models – powerful, expressive and dynamic."

In total, 33 volleyball players from 16 countries were selected as FIVB Heroes, 22 of whom are competing at the World Cup (Women's tournament: November 4 to 18. Men's tournament: November 20 to December 4).

They are as follows:
Women: Sheilla Castro (Brazil), Yimei Wang (China), Milagros Cabral de la Cruz (Dominican Republic), Margareta Kozuch (Germany), Simona Gioli (Italy), Saori Kimura and Yoshie Takeshita (Japan), Yeon-Koung Kim (South Korea), Jovana Brakocevic (Serbia) and Destinee Hooker (USA), and Men: Facundo Conte (Argentina), Giba and Murilo Endres (Brazil), Wilfredo León Venero (Cuba), Simone Parodi (Italy), Kunihiro Shimizu and Tatsuya Fukuzawa (Japan), Zbigniew Bartman and Bartosz Kurek (Poland), Maxim Mikhaylov (Russia), Sasha Starovic (Serbia) and Clayton Stanley (USA).

In addition to these stars, 29 beach volleyball players were made FIVB Heroes three months ago at the World Championships in Rome.

Only players who have won 'MVP' awards at FIVB events have been chosen to be part of the campaign. Priority was given to younger players who are expected to continue their careers for another three or four years.

Photo shoots and high-speed film shoots have been staged in Montreux, Gstaad, Tokyo and Rome. In addition, super-slow-motion footage has been used to emphasise the excitement of the sport and the physical excellence of the athletes. Thirty-second TV commercials and event posters have also been produced.

FIVB will be seeking to raise its profile at both final weekends at the World Cup in Japan's Yoyogi Stadium. The over-life-size statues of Russian star player Ekaterina Gamova and Brazilian Murilo Endres (made of PU foam and nearly 5m tall) will be put on display at the stadium, and other attractions are also being prepared, including large displays of the FIVB Heroes in front of the stadium and a Fan Stand, where fans can picture themselves surrounded by the Heroes using a blue screen.

"It’s an honour to be part of the campaign. It will help to create more role models for future generations of players and a platform for stars," emphasised Maxim Mikhaylov of Russia.

Gamova and Murilo in XXL
As part of the promotion for the "FIVB Heroes" campaign, a German company has produced three-dimensional giant statues of volleyball stars Ekaterina Gamova of Russia and Murilo Endres of Brazil. The models are each around five metres high (including a one-metre solid wood base) and customized in PU foam. They took three weeks to make, and weigh about 400 kg each, of which 250 kg is the base. Ekaterina and Murilo were scanned with a portable 3D laser scanner (worth roughly €13,000) in Moscow and Gdansk during summer. The process took about 15 minutes each. The two athletes had to remain silent and as still as possible in order to guarantee a first-class 3D computer model. The 3D model was digitally enlarged to a four-gigabyte file and divided into segments. A milling machine was then used to create the 3D sculpture. Eventually, the final touches were made by three scene painters and airbrush artists. In total, ten people were involved in the production of each model. The shipping from Europe to Japan took about five weeks.

Ekaterina is a double FIVB World Championship winner and Olympic Silver medallist with the Russian national team. She was named Most Valuable Player at the World Championships in 2010. Ekaterina is 2.02 m tall and was born in Chelyabinsk on 17 October 1980.

Murilo is 30 years old and has won five World Leagues with the Brazil national team and two World Championships (he was also named MVP at the World Championships in 2010). In 2008 he won the Olympic silver medal.

More information is available at and (the new official site of the campaign, which includes features and TV clips of the Heroes as well as plenty of volleyball background information, fact sheets, etc.). Please note that a Japanese version is available as of now.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

23.11.2011 14:39:32
FIVB World Cup - A wonderful celebration of spirit and sporting endeavor

Osaka, Japan, November 23, 2011 - FIVB President Jizhong Wei has expressed his great appreciation to the Japanese public who have gone to "extraordina... More...

21.11.2011 16:50:46
Fiorin praises Italian triumph

Lausanne, Switzerland, November 21, 2011 – Former Italian star Valentina Fiorin said her country’s ability to find the right team formula was central ... More...

18.11.2011 21:06:57
MVP Costagrande likes to play with good attitude

Tokyo, Japan, November 19, 2011 – Italy’s new breakout star is Carolina Costagrande who just won the FIVB World Cup 2011 Most Valuable Player honours.... More...

18.11.2011 16:58:18
USA end Brazil's four-year reign at top of rankings

18.11.2011 14:55:43
Italy win back to back World Cup titles as China clinch third and final Olympic ticket

18.11.2011 14:18:52
USA captain Lindsey Berg: Japan came out to play

18.11.2011 12:26:12
Japan spoil USA's hopes for top spot in World Cup in straight sets win

18.11.2011 11:00:42
Kim relieved Korea triumphed in straight sets

18.11.2011 10:38:43
Star Kim sparks Korea to win over Argentina

18.11.2011 09:36:02
China's Hui Ruoqi - It wasn't easy to win

18.11.2011 09:17:52
Cuban Perez enjoys the experience of the World Cup

18.11.2011 08:45:01
China put the block on Germany to clinch third and Olympic ticket

18.11.2011 08:14:33
Guimaraes satisfied with win over Dominican Republic

18.11.2011 07:34:13
Brazil down Dominican Republic in straight sets

18.11.2011 06:37:45
Everlyne Makuto’s sweet little victory

18.11.2011 05:18:35
Italy captain Lo Bianco: I'm very satisfied and proud of this team

18.11.2011 04:54:53
Italy move into top spot with win over Kenya

18.11.2011 04:44:13
Terzic says victory caps amazing season

18.11.2011 04:21:23
Bjelica, Ninkovic lead Serbia past Algeria

18.11.2011 00:09:58
Three teams vie for the last remaining ticket to London while tournament honours still on the line

17.11.2011 16:27:44
Cacciatori. "Lo Bianco a true champion"

17.11.2011 15:02:54
Seasoned players still a big factor to USA’s game

17.11.2011 14:21:01
USA beat Italy to seal 2012 Olympic Games qualification ticket

17.11.2011 14:03:53
What happened tonight was terrible - Guidetti

17.11.2011 13:12:29
Speedy Japan defence withstands German onslaught

17.11.2011 12:24:28
We used our brains today: Serbia coach

17.11.2011 11:45:11
Serbia power their way to 3-0 win over Argentina

17.11.2011 09:47:00
USA coach Hugh McCutcheon: We're going to London

17.11.2011 09:41:25
USA women join Italy at Olympic Games

17.11.2011 09:13:43
My team is still learning: Algerian coach

17.11.2011 08:21:23
Brazil show power in win over Algeria

17.11.2011 05:50:13
We're getting better every game: Dominican coach

17.11.2011 05:28:19
Dominicans beat Korea in another five-setter

17.11.2011 05:10:44
China coach Yu on Kenya win: We hope we can carry this into our match with Germany

17.11.2011 05:00:02
Kenya struggle in loss to China

16.11.2011 23:37:53
"Final" highlights drama day at FIVB Women’s World Cup

16.11.2011 13:58:39
Italy qualify for 2012 Olympic Games after superb victory over Germany

16.11.2011 12:27:23
Japan coach Manabe - Today our serving was the key

16.11.2011 12:17:51
We played better tonight: Ze Roberto

16.11.2011 11:52:10
Japan all aces versus Kenya at home

16.11.2011 11:50:12
Brazil defeat Argentina in three sets

16.11.2011 10:08:56
Italy coach Barbolini: I have no words to describe what my team is doing

16.11.2011 09:59:05
Costagrande superb as Italy clinch Olympic Games berth

16.11.2011 09:09:36
Destinee Hooker: There’s no pressure when you have a team like USA

16.11.2011 08:48:16
We're young and have a lot to learn: Algeria captain

16.11.2011 08:27:42
Korea defeat Algeria in three sets

16.11.2011 06:18:03
USA coach McCutcheon: China kept battling, but I think we did that too

16.11.2011 06:13:59
Hooker the hero as USA pip China

16.11.2011 06:11:21
We turned a big minus into a big plus: Dominican captain

16.11.2011 05:14:53
Dominicans pull off super comeback against Serbia

15.11.2011 23:53:47
Exciting matches as World Cup final leg kicks off at Tokyo

15.11.2011 11:42:01
Italy must stay alert - Barbolini

15.11.2011 11:23:59
Brazil in need of three wins at Tokyo Metropolitan Stadium

15.11.2011 04:42:41
“The Russian” from Argentina set to play in Germany

13.11.2011 13:22:43
Italy, USA and China fill top spots heading into World Cup final round in Tokyo

13.11.2011 13:20:58
Japan captain Erika Araki: Takeshita's block was really outstanding

13.11.2011 12:28:09
Japan's tiny Takeshita rises above in stunning win against Brazil

13.11.2011 12:25:41
We have a lot of respect for the Dominican Republic: Berg

13.11.2011 11:53:39
USA defeat Dominican Republic in three sets

13.11.2011 10:07:39
Kenya in mourning for Maiyo's father

13.11.2011 09:38:06
I'm proud of my players: Algerian coach

13.11.2011 09:15:22
China coach Yu Juemin: We're mentally and physically tired, but we did well

13.11.2011 09:06:43
Algeria win 'Battle of Africa' against Kenya

13.11.2011 08:36:39
China show no sign of weariness in quick win over Korea

13.11.2011 06:02:14
Brakocevic back but can't prevent defeat

13.11.2011 05:30:53
Italy captain Lo Bianco: We won the game in the first set

13.11.2011 05:14:28
We reacted well after yesterday's loss: Germany coach

13.11.2011 05:12:30
Italy overcomes early scare to beat Serbia in three

13.11.2011 04:34:25
Germany overcome Argentina in three sets

13.11.2011 02:26:00
Coaches and teammates rate young Martinez as a raw diamond

13.11.2011 01:40:34
The race heats up as teams prepare for final stretch

12.11.2011 13:48:44
Italy shock Brazil as unbeaten run continues

12.11.2011 12:50:09
Japan captain Araki: This was a long-awaited win for our team

12.11.2011 12:36:24
We have good momentum, USA's Logan Tom says

12.11.2011 12:15:14
Ebata and Japan rebound with big home win against Korea

12.11.2011 11:42:24
USA cruise past Algeria in three sets

12.11.2011 10:02:52
China's Ma Yunwen: We are still tired but we played well

12.11.2011 09:09:36
We have to keep our errors down: Argentina coach

12.11.2011 09:08:00
China claim their fourth come-from-behind win against Serbia

12.11.2011 08:28:54
Argentina down Kenya in three sets

12.11.2011 06:31:05
We have to maintain this level: Dominican coach

12.11.2011 05:37:04
Dominican Republic stun Germany in five sets

12.11.2011 05:15:46
Barbolini on Brazil: We beat one of the strongest teams in the world

12.11.2011 04:41:31
Italy stay perfect, beating Brazil in three

12.11.2011 03:44:14
Classic battle opens second day of third round action in Sapporo

11.11.2011 23:23:14
Angelina Grün returns with magic touch

11.11.2011 14:45:47
Italy maintain lead as Brazil beat China in thriller

11.11.2011 13:50:01
Serbia coach Terzic: I have a good feeling when we win against Japan

11.11.2011 13:06:47
Serbia stun Japan in straight sets in Sapporo

11.11.2011 12:47:42
Every day you must be prepared to go into battle: USA coach

11.11.2011 12:23:15
USA have little trouble beating Argentina

11.11.2011 10:33:36
Brazil's Fabiana: By enjoying ourselves and trusting each other we could play well

11.11.2011 09:47:03
Fabiana block denies China in five-set thriller

11.11.2011 09:27:45
We played with good motivation: Germany coach

11.11.2011 08:58:36
Kim rested ahead of Japan match

11.11.2011 08:24:23
Germany overwhelm Algeria in Okayama

11.11.2011 05:44:56
An important victory for us: Kwiek

11.11.2011 05:16:46
Italy coach Barbolini: We played well from beginning to end, in every set, for the entire match

11.11.2011 05:02:18
Dominican Republic overcome Kenya in four sets

11.11.2011 04:30:16
Italy stay hot in Sapporo, taking sixth win