Argentina celebrate Olympic qualification
Speaking after their victory against Peru, Argentina Volleyball Federation (FeVA) President Juan Antonio Gutierrez said: "I am very happy and proud because Argentina's women's volleyball has deserved this achievement. After working so hard with dedication and confidence, we reached our goal of taking both the men's and women's teams to the Olympics and that fills me with pride. We always were aware we could obtain such a result and the dream has come true. All Argentinians must feel proud of their 'Las Panteras', of their effort and sacrifice, of their dream. Last May, when we presented the international season, I said I would resign if they did not qualify. And now here we stand, all working to keep growing."
Head coach Guillermo Orduna said: "The results are the consequence of hard work. Our team worked under a management that bet very strongly on women's volleyball, to find the outstanding and required conditions for the coaching team and for the players, to promote the participation of the team in great international competitions, bringing, for example, the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix - the FIVB's premier annual competition for women's national teams - to Argentina. FeVA President Gutierrez went to get the competitions and we nearly obtained more tournaments. We played the qualification for the World Cup here and now the qualification for the Olympic Games, meaning that the FeVA management has received a lot of support thanks to their outstanding work with the support of City Hall and Province Governments. Those are real facts. They come in addition to the unquestionable support from ENARD and the National Sport Secretariat. To have had the national sports management of Carlos Javier Mac Allister and Orlando Moccagatta in Bariloche is also an unusual fact for our volleyball. It has provided support to the country's women's volleyball, as has the confidence of South American Volleyball Confederation President Rafael Lloreda, who always works hand in hand with the Argentine Volleyball Federation to help find the best conditions and facilities for competitions for all the teams present".
The goal of qualifying for the Olympics has been reached after many years of strong planning that have changed Argentine women's volleyball and given birth to a passion for the team in the whole country. "We cannot forget all those coaches, clubs, authorities, referees and players that work towards the development of our sport. It would not be fair not to mention once more and again and again that Las Panteras are the result of all their work," added Gutierrez. "Our management at FeVA aims to provide each national team with the same treatment."
Fans have pushed the team forward at each of the venues involved in this year's competitions - in Comodoro Rivadavia, Formosa and now Bariloche. To have played as the local team is key to the Argentine team's development. FeVA has organised a total of 17 international events to date in the country, for both genders and all ages, including the historical Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament and the FIVB Volleyball U19 Boys' World Championship in Chaco and Corrientes.
Gutierrez added: "I want to point to the support of Governor Alberto Weretilneck from Rio Negro, to the province's team that was always ready to help and work, led by Minister Silvina Arrieta, as well as to Bariloche City Hall Mayor Gustavo Gennuso, who opened the doors of a marvellous city. I am moved by the support of the new authorities of Argentine Sport with the presence of Carlos Javier Mac Allister and Orlando Moccagat at this event. Also the ENARD attended represented by Gustavo Cullinan and the Argentine Olympic Committee with its Manager, Carlos Ferrea and its Treasurer, Alejandro Bolgeri - present honorary FeVA President. I would also like to thank the volunteers for all their hard work."
FeVA will promote direct action for the development of Olympic Rio Negro and continue to promote the development of volleyball in the region of Patagonia.
“Lastly, I would like to thank the journalists, photographers and media in general for their reports and telling the world about our event. Their support was amazing and with them our volleyball keeps growing."