FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016

#RioGS


Press release

Emanuel with the past, present and future Monday


Fulvio Danilas (left), the coordinator of Beach Volleyball for the CBV, and Franco Neto (right) with Brazilian players (from left to right) Eliza Maia, Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos at a Monday morning media conference in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 7, 2016 - An array of Brazilian beach volleyball royalty, past present and future, sat shoulder to shoulder.

Young female stars Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa and Elize Maia, gold medalist Ricardo Santos, 18-time champion Franco Neto sat facing the media but as the week kicked off leading into the $800,000 Rio Grand Slam, it was the man in the middle of all them who was the focal point.

Legendary Emanuel Rego, the only player to compete in beach volleyball in all five Olympic Games in which the sport has been contested, is playing for the last time on Copacabana Beach this week and the tributes will pour in for the 42-year-old.

THE BEST OF ALL-TIME

Emanuel picked up the first of many tributes from longtime rival Franco, who said simply of the man to his right: “Emanuel is the best of all time.”

You can look at statistics all day long with Emanuel and come to the same conclusion. He was won 152 events in his career, an all-time record, better even than United States legend Karch Kiraly. He has captured FIVB or Association of Volleyball Professionals titles with seven different partners.

Three times, Emanuel has been a World Champion – with three different partners.

Emanuel could throw all of those numbers out there and come to the conclusion that yes, maybe he should be considered the best ever. Yet that is not how he looks at his career and at the sport that has blossomed into one of the most popular in the world.

IN EMANUEL’S WORDS

“In my mind, I consider (myself) the player who tries everything to be on the top all the time,” Emanuel said at a media conference just steps away from the courts where he will cheered in the coming days. “When you do this, logically your numbers just say what you did in these 25 years. My main goal was I wanted to do my best every time to be on the top, to be a good example as an athlete.

Emanuel Rego

“It still is true for this week, to do it the same way, to think about the volleyball and try to treat our sport as the best one.”

When he first tried the sport, Emanuel was not sure exactly how his volleyball career would unfold. He was still playing indoor volleyball in Curitiba while heading to the beach on the weekends to play on the sand just for fun.

1991 MEMORY

In 1991, USA legends Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos, who had helped Brazil develop a love for the sport when they barnstormed through Brazil in the 1980s, arrived in Rio for a tournament.

Between matches, Smith and Stoklos had some training time and were talked into playing against a 17-year-old youngster. Smith and Stoklos had no idea what they were in for.

“They kept asking me and Randy to play against this kid,” Smith recalls. “We just got here, we wanted to kind of get into the flow of things and they were saying, ‘Come on, come on.’

So we start to play against him and this other guy and again, this is a kid, we’re thinking this will be our warm-up. He comes out and he plays like a World Tour guy. He’s never played on the World Tour. Well, there wasn’t a World Tour, just a couple of events at the time, and we’re going ‘Oh, no. We can’t lose, we’re the world champions, we’re the kings of Rio and all of this’ and here’s this kid from Brazil who’s going to take us down in our warm-up match.

“We had to do everything in our power to stay with him and win that game. He’s 17 years old and hadn’t come on to the scene yet. All the Brazilians were laughing, ‘Go ahead, play with this kid.’ ”

Emanuel remembers the moment vividly.

“I remember it was 11-9 for me and my partner and at that time, we were very skinny and we were playing very fast and then it was 11-11,” Emanuel said. “Then their coach said ‘Come on, Randy, Sinjin, it’s time, let’s go.’ Then Randy went to serve and made four aces very fast, one on the line, one on the other line, one in the middle and the game was finished, 15-11, shaking hands and bye-bye.

“For me it was a good experience to watch them and the way they treated the game.”

While Smith and Stoklos might admit to being a little flustered at the thought of being taken down by a local kid, Emanuel thought otherwise.

“They controlled the game the whole time,” Emanuel said. “It was fun for us because we felt that ‘Ah, we have an opportunity to win.’ but I think it was just the opposite, they just let us be happy for a few moments.”

PLAYING IN THE UNITED STATES

It changed Emanuel, who decided pretty much then and there his future was in beach volleyball. He eventually traveled to the United States to play on the AVP Tour.

“I changed my life to be in AVP to try and understand how they play,” Emanuel said. “I can say Randy Stoklos, Sinjin Smith, Karch Kiraly, Brian Lewis, Kent Steffes - those guys showed me a different way to play beach volleyball.

“They were very experienced. That’s how I learned to play, to be a professional. So these guys, they showed me the world, they opened my mind to stay there as a professional.”

THE BEST

And a wildly successful career was born. Smith, who began his beach career largely with Kiraly, now looks back and has one thing to say about Emanuel: “He’s the best that’s ever been.”

Sinjin Smith

“He’s the most accomplished, and that has to play in to your ability as well,” Smith continued. “I could say I was better than he, but what does that mean? He was to some people, maybe not to others, maybe he was a better a digger but not as good a hitter, you know, those types of (arguments).

“Accomplishment-wise, what he did in his career is unmatched, unparalleled. His success against the best teams from all over the world over all the years with different partners as well; his statistics jump right out at you, and you don’t realize how long he’s been playing, how good he was.”

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
03.08.2016 04:57:26
TALKIN’ STATS: Rio 2016 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball Preview

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2, 2016 — Displaying a major presence and involvement for the next three weeks in Brazil, the Fédération Internatio... More...

30.07.2016 15:26:11
Stars of Rio: Alison Cerutti

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 30, 2016 – Reigning world champion Alison Cerutti is one of the most recognisable figures on the FIVB Beach Volleyball W... More...

28.07.2016 17:40:46
Twenty years later - Atlanta validation for Kiraly & Steffes

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 27, 2016 - Twenty years ago today on July 28 on a man-made "beach" south of the Georgia capital of Atlanta, Karch Kiraly a... More...

27.07.2016 20:11:23
Canadians first to try out Copacabana

27.07.2016 15:44:07
First-ever Olympic beach volleyball medal winners

26.07.2016 16:38:24
Copacabana welcomes newest attraction as Olympic beach volleyball venue opens

22.07.2016 12:17:22
Celebrate two decades of Olympic beach volleyball with two weeks until Rio 2016

12.07.2016 13:04:16
Canadian duos to play-off for place at Rio 2016

11.07.2016 10:07:55
Brink reviews the key battles for Rio 2016

08.07.2016 15:05:03
Rio 2016 Olympic beach volleyball Drawing of Lots Saturday in Gstaad

23.06.2016 17:18:18
Olympic Countdown: May-Treanor/Walsh win third Olympic gold

09.06.2016 16:56:25
Olympic countdown: USA claim double in Beijing

01.06.2016 10:10:57
Italy confirm Olympic beach teams

26.05.2016 17:22:57
Olympic Countdown: Athens the cradle of beach volleyball legend

13.05.2016 12:47:20
Agatha and Barbara trying to keep calm despite Olympic dreams

06.05.2016 23:23:41
Lucena forfeits early on at Huntingdon Beach

05.05.2016 12:42:58
Sweat going through the pain barrier for Rio 2016 place

04.05.2016 13:51:00
Pedro ready to make up for lost time at debut Olympics

03.05.2016 16:59:44
World champs Agatha and Barbara ready to live every minute of debut Olympics

03.05.2016 10:25:36
Ghanaian duo Ajanako and Sarpong dreaming of Rio sands

25.04.2016 09:15:52
Brazilian athletes enjoy Saquarema facilities

24.04.2016 22:18:30
Alison and Bruno claim Brazilian Tour event in Fortaleza

19.04.2016 16:45:55
Rwanda keep Olympic dream alive

14.04.2016 09:08:23
Olympic Countdown: Blanton and Fonoimoana spring Sydney surprise

14.04.2016 00:42:29
Excitement looms in Abuja as teams gather for women's Continental Cup finals

13.04.2016 15:23:32
Olympic dreams on the line on Nigerian sands

30.03.2016 15:21:49
Prudel aiming for second taste of Rio

17.03.2016 15:25:18
Olympic Games Countdown: Atlanta braves the new Olympic craze

15.03.2016 12:14:31
Rewatch: Rio Grand Slam Finals

13.03.2016 19:19:17
Walsh Jennings: No ordinary comeback

13.03.2016 18:57:39
And nine months later…

13.03.2016 00:21:58
Kantor and Losiak seek Copacabana crown

12.03.2016 23:30:13
Walsh Jennings and Ross reach unusual No. 101

12.03.2016 18:43:45
Brazil, Netherlands & Poland seeking men’s Rio Grand Slam gold

12.03.2016 16:58:59
Emotional freeze for Forrer/Vergé-Dépré on Copacabana Saturday morning

12.03.2016 11:13:17
Rio Grand Slam features statistics

12.03.2016 02:58:59
Austria, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Poland & USA seek men’s Copacabana medals

12.03.2016 00:34:47
Bumming out Rio

12.03.2016 00:16:24
Polish Pairs Partying

11.03.2016 22:28:55
From the brink of elimination to netting a quarterfinal berth

11.03.2016 18:41:33
Obrigado Emanuel!

11.03.2016 16:39:25
Upsets highlight women’s elimination first round

11.03.2016 05:09:21
Rio Grand Slam features statistics

11.03.2016 01:20:59
Seven countries net men’s Rio pool titles

11.03.2016 01:02:01
Hometown distractions

10.03.2016 21:40:27
Germans continue Copacabana charm

10.03.2016 17:36:27
Live Streams for Rio Grand Slam semifinals and finals

10.03.2016 15:10:09
Will this be Emanuel’s last match?

10.03.2016 12:16:06
German Glee on Copacabana

09.03.2016 22:36:45
Dalhausser and Lucena prevail in lull before the storm

09.03.2016 20:40:03
Carambula’s unique weapon

09.03.2016 15:58:47
Hermannova and Slukova continue winning run

09.03.2016 09:30:10
Copacabana welcomes Rio Grand Slam

08.03.2016 22:52:22
Rio anxiety for Nestarcova & Dubovcova

08.03.2016 22:16:45
Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin prove competitiveness on Copacabana

08.03.2016 21:32:02
Karagkouni and Arvaniti lead way to women's Rio Grand Slam Main Draw

08.03.2016 20:04:03
Firm hands of Sicoli helping Ross and Walsh towards Rio dream

08.03.2016 17:18:46
Phuket friendship produces coaching role

07.03.2016 21:34:41
Playing again on Copacabana

07.03.2016 17:27:04
Emanuel with the past, present and future Monday

07.03.2016 02:12:02
Common backgrounds on Copacabana

04.03.2016 19:24:53
Road to Rio - 15 Women’s Olympic Tickets

04.03.2016 04:36:25
FIVB World Tour on Copacabana Beach for $800,000 FIVB Rio Grand Slam

04.03.2016 01:17:00
Road to Rio - 15 Men’s Olympic Tickets

03.03.2016 12:06:50
Ross infused with energy

02.03.2016 23:59:57
"Lion King" characters spotted on Copacabana

02.03.2016 18:31:55
Emanuel’s start and finish on the FIVB World Tour

01.03.2016 21:04:37
Beach volleyball returns to its roots

01.03.2016 17:17:47
Walsh Jennings: "We need to do our jobs well"

29.02.2016 23:15:08
2016 FIVB World Tour update following FIVB Maceió Open in Brazil

27.01.2016 17:52:01
USA’s Ross/Walsh Jennings hit comeback trail for Olympics

22.01.2016 09:44:22
Top-ranked Australians look to kick-start Olympic campaign

18.01.2016 12:59:02
Talita: We are on track for the Olympics

15.01.2016 15:13:19
Ludwig/Walkenhorst settling in for Rio challenge

02.01.2016 12:00:44
2016 Preview: Beach volleyball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

31.12.2015 17:15:07
Valjas aiming to follow in brother’s Olympic footsteps

11.11.2015 13:07:40
Beach volleyball prepares for bumper season after 2015/2016 calendar unveiled

26.08.2015 14:10:31
Bawden and Clancy dare to dream of Copacabana Beach

15.07.2015 15:17:43
Brazilian Road to Rio revealed

08.04.2015 12:33:44
Finnish pairs chasing Rio Olympic dream