Smedins and Samoilovs receive Presidential seal of approval
The pair were able to discuss the 2013 beach volleyball season that concluded in mid-December when the pair won the Rankings title and the final FIVB event of the year, the Durban Open in South Africa. They also outlined their plans for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Smedins and Samoilovs won three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam titles in their first season together; two gold medals, two silvers and one bronze before adding another set of gold medals to their collections in Durban, which held off the challenge of Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt.
In the end of season FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Awards Smedins was selected as the 2013 Best Offensive Player, Best Setter, Best Hitter, Sportsman of the Year and together they were honoured as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Team of the Year.
President Bērziņš is no stranger to Smedins’ success on the beach volleyball court; after the 26-year-old won the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Martins Plavins he phoned the pair soon after their match had concluded and then welcomed them to the Presidential Palace for a gala reception once they returned home.