The Hague, Netherlands, March 21, 2020 - You can send your wishes to Robert Meeuwsen
, who celebrates his 32nd birthday on Saturday.
One of the most successful players on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 207 cm (6'9") Dutchman has completed nine full seasons internationally with highlights including winning gold at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Poland and the third spot on the Rio 2016 Olympic podium with partner Alexander Brouwer.
Robert Meeuwsen (left) and Alexander Brouwer celebrate winning World Championship gold in 2013
Asked about memorable matches, Meeuwsen is quick to point to the Rio Olympic semifinal meeting for he and Brouwer with Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt where the Brazilians prevailed in three sets - 21-17, 21-23 and 16-14. It was the eighth meeting between the two teams that had won the previous two World Championships with Alison and Bruno finishing first in 2015 in the Netherlands.
"The atmosphere in the stadium with all those Brazilians was insane," said Meeuwsen about the 56-minute match where he had 10 blocks and a 53.3 percent hitting percentage. "A very tense game, coming back in the second set from being 20-17 behind. Unfortunately, we still lost it (the match)!"
Robert Meeuwsen (right) blocking against Alison Cerutti of Brazil at the Rio Olympics
QUESTION - Who was the person responsible for getting you started playing beach volleyball?
MEEUWSEN - "The first person that comes to mind is Michel Everaert. He brought me to the national youth team where Alexander (Brouwer) and Christiaan Varenhorst were already playing. That was the big step for me."
QUESTION - What and why was the reason you started playing beach volleyball?
MEEUWSEN - "I just love the diversity of the game, being good at all aspects of the game and the fact that during the game it’s you and your partner, no coaching allowed, that pressure and responsibility I love."
QUESTION - When and where did you start playing beach volleyball?
MEEUWSEN - "I started playing in Bilthoven, at La Playa Blanca, a beach volleyball school from Paul van der Ven, a former school teacher of mine. This is the place where I went to several times a week, playing in all the training groups, of all ages, just to play as much as I could. It was so fun."
QUESTION - Once you finish playing beach volleyball, what will you do?
- "Good question, I’ll definitely look for a new challenge, developing new skills and make sure I have fun in doing that too."Quick links - Beach volleyball: