The USSR Volleyball Federation joined the FIVB in 1948 and in 1949 participated in the first FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship. International competitions such as the Olympic Games, World and European Championships and World Cups were continually synonymous with a victorious USSR men’s team as they went on to gain worldwide recognition by winning three Olympic titles (1964, 1968 and 1980), six World Championships (1949, 1952, 1960, 1962, 1978, 1982), five World Cups (1965, 1977, 1981, 1991, 2011) and were European champions 12 times.
In 1993, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russians never lost their volleyball dominance. In 1996 and 1997 the team finished third in the World League and in 1998 they placed second. Then 1999 saw them regain the World Cup title before capturing silver at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
The year 2002 was highlighted by the Russian team winning the World League title once again and claiming silver at the World Championships. Then 2004 and 2008 brought further Olympic glory for the Russians as they took the bronze medal in Athens and Beijing respectively. The past decade has seen Russia finish amongst the medals without clinching the elusive gold, that was until last year’s World League before following it up with a dominant display at the World Cup, dropping just one match on the way to victory. The start of another dominant Russia era? One waits to see.