Emanuel never stops love for beach volleyball
Shanghai, China, May 2, 2014 – Brazilian Emanuel Rego never stops loving the sport of beach volleyball. At the age of 41, the triple Olympic medalist continues to enjoy playing with the younger generation.
“Because first of all I love to change something in my game every year, and I also like to play with young players, I want to teach them what I have learnt. That's why I keep on playing for these years and plan to move on,” said Emanuel, who was playing at the Shanghai Grand Slam together with 28-year-old Pedro Salgado, his 11th partner from 1994 through to 2014.
Emanuel has participated in five consecutive Olympic Games since 1996 with four different partners. After winning gold and bronze with Ricardo Santos at the Athens Games in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008, he paired with Alison Cerutti, who is 13 years younger than him, to take the silver at the London Games in 2012. From the beginning of this season, he began to work with Pedro.
“I like to play with the young generations. All the new players always bring me a different style to play,” he said.
Born in 1973, Emanuel has been a beach volleyball player for twenty-three years since he quit indoor volleyball. With all the experience he has got from his career, he is always calm on the court.
“I am very calm because I always try to be thinking what will happen in the next play, and how to change the strategy.”
With three Olympic medals and three World Championships titles under his belt, Emanuel would like to pass his experience to youth and at the same time continue to enjoy the pleasure of the sport.
“I want to do the same as I did with Alison – to plan together, to win some good tournaments and to have some more confidence, as he is doing now. It’s my pleasure, it’s my duty.”
Following a fifth-place finish in their first tournament at the season-opening Fuzhou Open last week, Emanuel thought he and Pedro had a lot to work on.
“I like the way he plays, because it is easy to play with one partner who always pushes you for the best ball and best hit. I think he is the fire of our team,” Emanuel said, ”We are only three months together, so we need to improve more on games.”
“We are a very young team, that's why I think we have a few mistake during the match, but we try to concentrate and to be more consistent during every game.”
With only two years away from the Rio Games, Emanuel was not sure whether he would go for his sixth Olympic Games.
“For myself I want to be ready physically for 2014, but you never know. Every year is different, then I want to enjoy every moment,” he said. “I want to be playing in the next World Championships in Holland and I think it’s the first objective in my mind. Keep moving. Always keep doing the best I can!”
Emanuel also a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Athlete Commission.
Watch him discuss his beach volleyball career and his views on the importance of the fight against doping in sports