President Graça pledges to make volleyball first Summer and Winter Olympic sport


President Graça, pictured with USAV CEO Jamie Davis and Snow Volleyball's Veit Manninger & Martin Kaswurm, spoke about the exciting future of volleyball to the USA Volleyball Board on Friday

Minneapolis, USA, May 26, 2017 - FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° made a passionate presentation to the USA Volleyball (USAV) Board of Directors (BOD) on Friday, where he discussed the future of snow volleyball and pledged to work tirelessly to help put the exciting version of the sport on the Olympic Winter Programme.

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Speaking to the USAV BOD on the penultimate day of his USA visit, President Graça also spoke about the benefits of greater unity and a more open dialogue between the FIVB and National Federations, and was delighted to see the number of high-positioned women on the USAV Board of Directors at the meeting, with five out of the fourteen participants being female.

President Graça's closing remarks to the USAV BOD

President Graça shared his ambitious plans to make snow volleyball part of the Olympic Winter Programme in the future, which would make the FIVB the first International Federation in history to be represented in both versions of the Olympic Games. The President emphasised that he has played the sport himself and that it is quite similar in nature to beach volleyball. Speaking after the presentation, he said:

“Volleyball was an incredibly popular sport at Rio 2016 - in fact it was the most viewed sport on the entire Programme. I would love to bring the same excitement and passion for the sport, which we saw in Rio, to the fans at the Olympic Winter Games, and I believe snow volleyball is an amazing way of doing this.”

Snow Volleyball's Martin Kaswurm also presented to the USAV BOD

In March this year, President Graça showed his passion for, and belief in the potential for widespread growth of snow volleyball when he attended the final day of the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Your Way Snow Festival at Wagrain-Kleinarl in Austria.

On Friday, President Graça echoed the same sentiments he made back in March, saying:

“As President of the FIVB I made a promise that I would focus on innovation and opportunity, and snow volleyball is both of these things. I will continue to work hard to grow snow volleyball all over the world, as I believe that this is a central part of me keeping my promise."

President Graça and USAV Board Chair Lori Okimura's friendship and working relationship grew even stronger over the President's three day visit 

In the closing remarks of his presentation, President Graça reflected on what he believes is a bright future for both the USAV and the FIVB:

“I would like to thank you very, very much to give me this opportunity, and the FIVB this opportunity. I want to say the FIVB is definitely with the USA Volleyball Federation. 

President Graça discussed the future of beach volleyball with 2008 Olympic beach volleyball champion and USAV BOD member Todd Rogers

"Let's sit down all the time, try to always have a profitable conversation. That is what has happened here. I just have to say thank you, Lori (Board Chair). I am feeling that the USA Volleyball federation is a new environment with a new way of thinking which bodes very well for the future.”