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04/05/2016 21:12
Snow Volleyball exhibition matches set new world record at Rosa Khutor ski resort
News from the National Federations

Sochi, Russia, May 4, 2016. A world record was set on Wednesday when a (Snow) Volleyball match was played at the impressive altitude of 2,320 m – the highest point where professional players have ever performed. The historic feat was achieved at the Rosa Khutor ski resort in Sochi, where two exhibition Snow Volleyball matches were played as a side event by the time an FIVB World Tour tournament is being held in the city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. The match was also some kind of rehearsal as Sochi and Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort are planning and hoping to play host to a stop of the 2017 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour.

The very first edition of the CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour was organised in late March / early April of this year with three stops in the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy. Snow Volleyball is being played (almost) according to the same rules in place for Beach Volleyball, with the major difference being the surface matches are played on – i.e. snow and ice instead of sand.

The exhibition matches contested on Wednesday were attended by one Russian team per gender as well as by a men’s and women’s pair from Qatar and France, respectively. The main umpire and special guest of the event was Russia’s 2012 Olympic Volleyball gold medallist, Alexey Verbov.

Russia’s Alexander Likholetov/Artem Khabibullin beat Julio Cesar Do Nascimento/Ahmed Tijan of Qatar whilst France’s Aline Chamereau/Ophélie Lusson edged the local team consisting of Daria Rudykh and Elizaveta Zayonchkovskaya. Three out of these four teams had previously contested the qualification round of the FIVB Sochi Open on Tuesday. Though the weather conditions were not ideal and the players had to cope with heavy rain, the matches were played in a great atmosphere and everybody seemed to have a lot of fun.



“It was not the first time I performed as referee but today the key was the atmosphere you could sense on the court. It was more like a Volleyball party than a sporting event. We all had a great time and will return back home with a lot of positive emotions and vibe. Snow Volleyball is a great sport and it definitely has a bright future here in Russia. Actually, we all know that snow has never been a problem in our country. We sometimes have problems with sand, but not with snow,” Verbov said. “So I can definitely see that this sport may be added to the programme of the Winter Olympics in the future.”

The two players from Qatar had to stand a real challenge, because of the weather and the snowy conditions. However, they both had great fun. “I have seen snow in my life before, in Slovakia, but I had never played Volleyball on it,” Ahmed Tijan said. “It was really cool. Thank you for this great opportunity!”



“The idea of hosting a stop of next year’s CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour in Sochi has been immediately supported by representatives of the All-Russian Volleyball Federation and of the local ski resort,” said the FIVB Sochi Open Tournament Director and General Director of the All-Russian Beach Sports Association, Ilya Volodarskiy. “What we presented today for the guests who came together at Rosa Khutor was a great show. Since Snow Volleyball and Beach Volleyball are quite similar, also when it comes to their rules, it was decided that exhibition matches would be organised in conjunction with the Sochi Open. As it happens with Beach Volleyball, Snow Volleyball matches are also organised along with music, entertainment, cheerleaders and other show acts. I think that despite the bad weather everything went fine for this first test. We will continue to work for the development of this sport in Russia.”

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