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Beach volley legend Loiola still as passionate as ever

Brazilian beach volleyball legend José Loiola takes timeout from his role as coach of the American U21 teams
Umag, Croatia, June 22, 2013 – Brazil’s José Loiola was one of the most colourful beach volleyball players of the past decade. Passion was his trademark and that vitality continues today in his role as a coach. Loiola (43) won 55 World Tour and AVP gold medals and played with the best.

With Emanuel Rego he won the World Championship title and the World Tour in 1999 and finished ninth at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. The following year he claimed silver with Ricardo Santos at the World Championships in Klagenfurt.

"Without passion you can’t win"

“A big part of my success was my passion. It was part of my game and it’s what drove me all these years as a volleyball player. Without passion you can’t win. And I am not different as a coach. Maybe I am even more passionate now, because I want to give my players a 100 percent.”

Loiola traveled to the U21 World Championships in Umag last week with the American teams. The United States became his second home after he was invited to play on the national tour in 1993. He has been coaching the USA youth for the past three years.

The Californian resident is very enthusiastic about the FIVB age group events. “The Junior World Championships are a great way to prepare athletes to be pro’s. This is where they can compete with all these players from other countries. It gives them an idea how it looks like when they become pro. I just wish there were more events like this for the youth.”

An opportunity to give something back

For Loiola it is very satisfying to work with youngsters. “I am very pleased with volleyball, volleyball gave me everything I have in life and now have the opportunity to give something back. I always thought I could help others with my experiences in the past. It feels great. It’s my passion right now. It’s such a great satisfaction to see them train and progress and eventually in the future they can win a gold medal, that’s the whole purpose of that.”

Loiola has fond memories of his playing days with Emanuel and Ricardo, both still active on the World Tour. “Emanuel and I were really successful. We were both really passionate about the game and intense. We clicked very well back then. Emanuel always knew exactly what he wanted. I helped him a little because I was a little older, but he also helped me. It is nice to have that exchange, it is nice to know that you did something for somebody, even if it is just a little thing, to help them succeed.”

Still following old buddies

The retired player still follows his old buddies on the World Tour. “It’s nice to see Emanuel is still going, playing at the level he is playing. He has taken on my role with Alison. He cares about the youth, the sports, the same way I do.”

Emanuel’s partner Alison is also no stranger to Loiola either. “He is from my home city Victoria. When I returned to Brazil in 2001 to train for the Olympics in 2004 to play with Ricardo, I practiced with him and Bruno Oscar Schmidt. “I provided them with facilities and a coach. They were great students, had great commitment, always asking me questions. That helped them on their way too. They were really young back then, did not even play on the Brazilian Tour yet. It’s nice to see that they are doing so well now. It’s a great satisfaction for me, even more than a gold medal, to see that the people you helped are successful.”

Loiola lives in California, where he resided after he and Eduardo “Anjinho” Bacil received an invitation to play on the AVP in 1993. “We beat American legends Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, our idols, twice on the World Tour and got a wild card for the national tour. We earned enough points to stay. So that’s how I ended up in the US.”

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