Emotional Week No. 2 for Alison
Emanuel and partner Ricardo bowed out early from the FIVB World Tour’s Rio Grand Slam and there wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium, and that included one of his former partners, Alison Cerutti.
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“Playing along with Emanuel was such a great experience,” Alison said Tuesday. “I learned a lot and I was really emotional about that because he was such an idol to me.”
In the London 2012 Olympics, Alison and Emanuel teamed to capture the silver medal. It was the fifth Olympiad for Emanuel, but the first for Alison and he will get another shot at the gold this summer when he teams with Bruno Oscar Schmidt to chase Olympic glory in Rio.
London 2012 silver medallists Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti from Brazil
This week, though, it’s another emotional moment. Alison and Bruno, the world’s top-ranked team, are preparing to start in the FIVB $150,000 Vitoria Open.
The memories are flooding back for Alison and Bruno, who got their start together on Camburi Beach about a decade ago. Little did they know after parting ways to begin their careers, they would return to play together for Vitoria’s first FIVB tournament since 2006.
They were barely out of their teens at the time and were training under the guidance of Jose Loiola, who grew up in the Espirito Santo city just as Alison did. Bruno eventually found his way there and now lives in the Vila Velha section of the city.
“It was 10 years ago we started training,” Bruno said. “When I came down here in front of Loiola’s place - actually at that time it was an amazing place to play, we all started to encourage each other. Then I met Alison here. At that time we were just young guys trying to have some fun. I didn’t realize that this could be a professional career.
“We started training together and then we took different ways but I’m so glad we returned to the same place with the same team and we are playing together. This is our third year so a lot of dreams are coming true right now.”
In Rio, the hometown duo and top-seeded Barbara Seixas and Agatha Bednarczuk also felt the comforts with family and friends close by, but the pair fell short of their goal of reaching the final.
Alison, who was born and raised in Vitoria, said he also does not believe playing in his hometown adds any pressure to his game.
“For me it is more joy, no pressure at all because we have friends and family,” he said. “And I am proud to be here to play in my hometown.”
Yet with the retirement of Emanuel, he knows that he and Bruno are being looked upon as the next evolution of Brazilian brilliance on the beach.
“The next generation we have, we know we have a responsibility - but beach volleyball has evolved a lot and they are bigger, taller, stronger athletes,” Alison said. “There will be no one like Emanuel anymore, so they will have to overcome this situation to keep Brazil at the high level it’s always been.”
Brazil's Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Alison Cerutti celebrate winning the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015
Alison and Bruno have kept it there with a dominating 2015 season, in which they reached the final in six of 11 tournaments and captured all six of those titles, including the FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands that earned them an Olympic berth from the Brazilian Federation.
They closed out the year by capturing the Swatch Major Series Final in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which came with a paycheck of $100,000.