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Gruszka Beach Volleyball World Championship Ambassador


Lausanne, Switzerland, March 5, 2013 – Poland volleyball star Piotr Gruszka has been named as ambassador for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2013 that will be held in Stare Jablonki in the province of Mazury, from July 1 to 7.

The former captain of the Poland men’s national team participated in all 11 editions of the FIVB Volleyball World League from 1998 to 2008 before returning again to play in the annual men's event in 2010 and 2011.

Gruzka, who celebrates his 36th birthday on Friday, first played for the Poland volleyball team in 1995 as a wing spiker and went on to be part of the teams which won the European Championship in 2009 (where he was named MVP) and the silver medal at the 2006 World Cup. He is also a three-time participant in the Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).

His ties to the Mazury area are strong as he is currently signed with local club Indykpol AZS Olsztyn, a team he also played with from 2005 to 2006. With Olsztyn’s proximity to Stare Jablonki, Gruszka finds himself well placed to take in as much of the action as possible this July.

As with other beach volleyball fans, Gruszka will be watching from the sidelines to see if Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti can retain their world crown in the men’s competition, and who will succeed Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Larissa Franca as women’s world champions and take home the $500,000 on offer to the winners of each gender.

In a recent interview with Polish commentator Maciek Swiniarski, Gruszka has a clear appreciation for beach volleyball and the “movement and stamina of beach volleyball players”. "The atmosphere during this tournament is outstanding," he said. "I hope that the weather will be good and that many volleyball fans will come. It will be something great," he enthused.

Importantly, the former FIVB Volleyball World Championship and World League player also brings with him a desire to see his country, and compatriot beach volleyball players like Grzegorz Fijalek, succeed on the world stage.

So as Stare Jablonki gears itself up to hold the World Championships in July, it can rest easy knowing that Gruszka is also doing his part to ensure it will be a memorable event.

Watch this video for more behind the scenes footage and a change to get to know more about the World Championship’s new ambassador.


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