|Full name||Mirka Francia Vasconcelos|
February 14, 1975 |
Villa Clara, Cuba
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||73 kg (161 lb)|
|Spike||324 cm (128 in)|
|Block||310 cm (120 in)|
|Current club||Eczacıbaşı Zentiva|
|Last updated: March 2010|
Mirka Francia Vasconcelos (born 14 February 1975 in Villa Clara) is a Cuban-Italian volleyball player who has won two Olympic gold medals with the Cuba women's national volleyball team. At 1.84 meters (6 ft) tall, she played as a blocker before becoming a hitter in 2004.
Life and career
Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Francia first played volleyball at age ten and joined the junior national team in Havana four years later. With the national team she won two gold medals, at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. She also played on the Cuban national team that won the Volleyball World Championship in 1994 and 1998.
In the 1998-1999 season she played for Romanelli Firenze in the Italian second division before joining Sirio Perugia for the following season. She skipped the 2000-2001 season because of pregnancy, but rejoined Sirio Perugia the next year. With the team she has won the Italian Championship three times (2002–2003, 2004–2005, 2006–2007) and the Italian Cup two times (2003, 2005), also winning the Women's CEV Champions League in 2006 and 2008 also being awarded "Best Spiker", and the 2007 CEV Cup when she was awarded "Best Scorer". She acquired Italian citizenship in 2004, but has declined to play for the Italy women's national volleyball team due to family matters.
For season 2008/2009 she started playing for the Turkish team Eczacibasi Istanbul. With this team she won the "Best Scorer" title for the Champions League regular season 2009 and the Best Spiker, Best Server and Top Scorer of the 2009 Turkish Championship.
- 1999 FIVB World Cup "Best Blocker"
- 2008 Champions League Final Four "Best Spiker"
- 2009 Champions League Regular Season "Best Scorer"
- 2009 Turkish Championship "Top Scorer"
- 2009 Turkish Championship "Best Spiker"
- 2009 Turkish Championship "Best Server"
- 2000 Copa Coppe - Champion, with Despar Perugia
- 2003 Italian Cup - Champion, with Despar Perugia
- 2003 Italian Championship - Champion, with Despar Perugia
- 2005 Italian Cup - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2005 CEV Cup - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2005 Italian Championship - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2005–06 CEV Indesit Champions League - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2006 Coppa di Lega - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2007 Italian Cup - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2007 CEV Cup - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2007 Italian Championship - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2007 Italian Super Cup - Champion, with Sirio Perugia
- 2007–08 CEV Indesit Champions League - Champion, with Colussi Perugia
- 2009 Turkish Championship - Runner-Up, with Eczacibasi Zentiva Istanbul
- 2011 Turkish Cup - Champion, with Eczacıbaşı VitrA
- CEV. "Second Indesit Champions’ League trophy for Colussi PERUGIA". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- CEV. "Sirio perugia wins CEV cup after Champions League". Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- Voleibol Portol. "Stepanenko y Contreras galardonados por la CEV como mejores jugadores de la primera fase de la Champions" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- Volleyball.it. "Turchia: Il Fenerbahce vince il campionato femminile" (in Italian). Retrieved 2010-03-16.