Beach volleyball at the Summer Olympics

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For the current Summer Olympics, see Beach volleyball at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Beach volleyball at the Summer Olympics
Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg
Beach volley pictogram
Governing body FIVB
Events 2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games
1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000
2004 2008 2012 2016
Medalists

Beach volleyball was introduced at the Summer Olympic Games in the 1992 Games as a demonstration event, and has been an official Olympic sport since 1996.

The United States has won a gold medal at every Olympic beach volleyball tournament, in either the men's or the women's competition, since 1996. Brazil has won gold or silver in every men's or women's tournament since 1996.

Winning the Olympics is considered to be the highest honor in international beach volleyball, followed by the World Championships, and the World Tour of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) for men and women.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

Beach volleyball was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, at which Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos won the men's tournament, and Karolyn Kirby and Nancy Reno won the women's.

Beach volleyball was introduced as an official Olympic sport in 1996. A total of 24 teams take part in each beach volleyball Olympic tournament. Teams qualify on the basis of their performance in FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) events over the course of about 18 months before the Olympic Games. There is a limit of two teams per country, and one spot apiece is reserved for the host country and a randomly chosen wild-card country. In the event that any Olympic region is not represented, the highest ranked team from that continent qualifies for the tournament.

Men's beach volleyball[edit]

Dalhausser and Rogers celebrate their gold medal win in 2008.

The men's tournament has had a constant number of teams, with 24 couples in each edition.

In the first tournament, played in the 1996 Olympics, the matches were played at "Atlanta Beach" in Jonesboro, Georgia. The winners of the semifinals played for the gold and silver medals. The losers of the semifinal played for third and fourth places. The final was contested between the Americans Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes versus Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh. Kiraly is so far the only person with Olympic medals in both indoor and beach volleyball since he had won the gold medal indoors in the tournament of 1984 as well as 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

The beach volleyball tournament 0f 2000 was played in Bondi Beach, a suburb of Sydney. The winners were again an American team, Blanton/Fonoimoana, defeating Brazilians Zé Marco/Ricardo (the former had competed in Atlanta) in the finals.

In the 2004 Summer Olympics the tournament was held in the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex, in Athens, Greece. The Brazilians Emanuel/Ricardo (the former being a veteran of two Olympics, and the latter a silver medalist in 2000) won the gold medal, defeating Bosma and Herrera of Spain.

The beach volleyball tournament of 2008 was carried out at the Beach Volleyball Ground, located in the Chaoyang Park in Beijing. In an upset, reigning champions Emanuel and Ricardo were defeated by their compatriots Márcio Araújo (who competed in Athens) and Fábio Luiz in the semifinal. The Brazilians were then defeated by Americans Rogers and Dalhausser in the final.

The 2012 tournament was played at the Horse Guards Parade in London.

Women's beach volleyball[edit]

Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst at the 2000 tournament.

In Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996, there were eighteen teams entered, and the championship match was played between two Brazilian teams: Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires versus Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel.

At the Sydney Olympics of 2000, the number of teams was increased to 24. One of the two Australian teams, Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, won the gold medal over the Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede.

Behar and Bede of Brazil reached the final match again in 2004 in Athens, Greece, but they were defeated by Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States.

In 2008 in China, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings were victorious again by defeating the Chinese team of Tian Jia and Wang Jie in the finals.

In 2012 in England May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won for the third consecutive Olympiad by defeating the other American team of Kessy and Ross in the final match.

It is notable that in each Olympiad so far since 1996, there has been a country that won two medals out of three. The Brazilians won the gold and silver medals in 1996, and then the silver and bronze medals in 2000. Next, the Americans won the gold and bronze bronze medals in 2004. Then the Chinese won the silver and the bronze medals in 2008.

Finally, two American teams won the gold medal and the silver medal in 2012.

Competition formula[edit]

1996[edit]

A double-elimination tournament was played for both men and women until a total of four teams qualified for the semifinals: the two finalist teams of the winners bracket and the two finalist teams of the elimination bracket. The men's field had 24 teams, and the women's field had 16.

Competitors were selected through a detailed Olympic qualification process which saw the participation of a total of 587 men's and women's athletes from 46 countries. Each country could qualify up to two teams - host country United States had two spots already guaranteed, with the doubles selected through Olympic Beach Trials held in Baltimore, Maryland.

2000[edit]

Following an expansion on the women's tournament, both competitions had 24 teams. The format became single elimination, preceded by a preliminary round to define the round of 16 teams - the twelve winners of the preliminary games automatically qualified, while the twelve defeated teams played two elimination rounds to get the remaining four spots.

The teams qualify by accumulating points in FIVB Olympic Qualification Tournaments, with one of the host nation having a guaranteed berth and another having the possibility of qualifying through the ranking.

The Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex hosted the 2004 tournament.

2004[edit]

Following a FIVB change of rules in 2001, the scoring was changed from sets of 15 points in a superseded sideout system to sets of 21 points in a rally point system.[1]

The format had the 24 competing teams were split equally into six pools of four. The top two teams from each pool and the four best third placed teams progressed through to a single-elimination tournament of sixteen teams.

The qualifying added a continental quota - in the event of an unrepresented continent, the top team from that continent earned a spot.

2008 and 2012[edit]

The six pools of four format was retained, but the qualifying for third-placed teams was changed. Of the six 3rd place teams, two were directly qualified to the playoffs. Of the four remaining third placed teams, another two teams get to the playoffs through winning a lucky loser (repechage) match.

Medal tables[edit]

Men's[edit]

Year Host Gold medal match Bronze medal match
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1996
Details
United States
Atlanta
United States
Karch Kiraly
and Kent Steffes
2–0 United States
Michael Dodd
and Mike Whitmarsh
Canada
John Child
and Mark Heese
2–0 Portugal
João Brenha
and Miguel Maia
2000
Details
Australia
Sydney
United States
Dain Blanton
and Eric Fonoimoana
2–0 Brazil
Zé Marco de Melo
and Ricardo Santos
Germany
Axel Hager
and Jörg Ahmann
2–0 Portugal
João Brenha
and Miguel Maia
2004
Details
Greece
Athens
Brazil
Ricardo Santos
and Emanuel Rego
2–0 Spain
Javier Bosma
and Pablo Herrera
Switzerland
Stefan Kobel
and Patrick Heuscher
2–1 Australia
Julien Prosser
and Mark Williams
2008
Details
China
Beijing
United States
Phil Dalhausser
and Todd Rogers
2–1 Brazil
Fábio Luiz
and Márcio Araújo
Brazil
Ricardo Santos
and Emanuel Rego
2–0 Georgia (country)
Renato "Geor" Gomes
and Jorge "Gia" Terceiro
2012
Details
United Kingdom
London
Germany
Julius Brink
and Jonas Reckermann
2–1 Brazil
Alison Cerutti
and Emanuel Rego
Latvia
Mārtiņš Pļaviņš
and Jānis Šmēdiņš
2–1 Netherlands
Nummerdor
and Schuil
2016
Details
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Women's[edit]

Year Host Gold medal match Bronze medal match
Champions Score Runners-up 3rd place Score 4th place
1996
Details
United States
Atlanta
Flag of Brazil.svg
Jackie Silva
and Sandra Pires
2–0 Flag of Brazil.svg
Adriana Samuel
and Mônica Rodrigues
Flag of Australia.svg
Natalie Cook
and Kerri Pottharst
2–0 Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Barbra Fontana
and Linda Hanley
2000
Details
Australia
Sydney
Flag of Australia.svg
Natalie Cook
and Kerri Pottharst
2–0 Flag of Brazil.svg
Adriana Behar
and Shelda Bede
Flag of Brazil.svg
Adriana Samuel
and Sandra Pires
2–0 Flag of Japan.svg
Yukiko Takahashi
and Mika Teru Saiki
2004
Details
Greece
Athens
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Kerri Walsh
and Misty May
2–0 Flag of Brazil.svg
Adriana Behar
and Shelda Bede
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Holly McPeak
and Elaine Youngs
2–1 Flag of Australia.svg
Natalie Cook
and Nicole Sanderson
2008
Details
China
Beijing
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Kerri Walsh
and Misty May-Treanor
2–0 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Tian Jia
and Wang Jie
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Xue Chen
and Zhang Xi
2–0 Flag of Brazil.svg
Renata Ribeiro
and Talita Antunes
2012
Details
United Kingdom
London
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Kerri Walsh Jennings
and Misty May-Treanor
2–0 Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
April Ross
and Jennifer Kessy
Flag of Brazil.svg
Juliana Silva
and Larissa França
2–1 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
Xue Chen
and Zhang Xi
2016
Details
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro

Summary[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 6 2 1 9
2  Brazil (BRA) 2 6 3 11
3  Australia (AUS) 1 0 1 2
 Germany (GER) 1 0 1 2
5  China (CHN) 0 1 1 2
6  Spain (ESP) 0 1 0 1
7  Canada (CAN) 0 0 1 1
 Latvia (LAT) 0 0 1 1
 Switzerland (SUI) 0 0 1 1
Total 10 10 10 30

Participating nations[edit]

Nation 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Years
W M W M W M W M W M
Angola - - - - - - - 19th 1
Argentina - 14th - 9th - 9th - 19th 4
- - - 19th - - - -
Australia 3rd 9th 1st 9th 4th 4th 5th 9th 4
7th - 5th 17th 9th 9th - -
- - 17th - - - - -
Austria - - - 9th - 17th 5th 5th 3
- - - - - 19th - 9th
Brazil 1st 9th 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 4th 2nd 4
2nd 9th 3rd 9th 5th 9th 5th 3rd
Belgium - - - - - - 9th - 1
Bulgaria - - 17th - 9th - - - 2
Canada 17th 3rd - 5th 5th 5th - - 3
- 17th - 9th - - - -
China - - 9th - 9th - 2nd 9th 3
- - 17th - 19th - 3rd -
Cuba - 7th 9th - 9th 17th 9th - 4
- - - - - - 9th -
Czech Republic - 14th 9th 17th 9th - - - 3
- - 17th - - - - -
Estonia - 17th - - - - - 19th 2
France 13th 14th 9th 19th - 19th - - 3
Georgia - - - - - - 17th 4th 1
Germany 7th 9th 9th 3rd 5th 5th 9th 5th 4
- - 9th 19th 9th 9th 9th 19th
Great Britain 9th - - - - - - - 1
Greece - - 17th - 9th 19th 9th - 3
- - - - 9th - 19th -
Indonesia 13th 17th - - - - - - 1
Italy 13th 14th 5th 19th 5th - - 19th 4
- - 9th - - - - -
Japan 5th 17th 4th - 17th - 19th 9th 4
9th - 17th - - - - -
Latvia - - - - - - - 9th 1
Mexico 17th - 17th 9th 19th - 17th - 4
Netherlands 13th 17th 17th - 19th - 19th 5th 4
- - - - - - - 17th
Norway 9th 7th - 9th 17th 9th 9th 19th 4
- - - 19th 19th 19th 9th -
New Zealand - 17th - - - - - - 1
Portugal - 4th 9th 4th - 9th - - 3
Puerto Rico - - - - - 19th - - 1
Russia - - - 9th - - 19th 9th 2
South Africa - - - - 19th 9th 19th - 2
Spain - 5th - 5th - 2nd - 9th 4
- 17th - - - - - -
Switzerland - - - 5th 19th 3rd 19th 9th 3
- - - - - 5th - 17th
Sweden - 17th - 19th - 9th - - 3
United States 4th 1st 5th 1st 1st 5th 1st 1st 4
5th 2nd 5th 5th 3rd 19th 5th 5th
9th 5th - - - - - -
Nations 21 23 24 23 24

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]