It is now less than a year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the fight for a place at the tournament is heating up. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s and Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 in what I expect will be two fascinating and thrilling tournaments.
The World Cup has a long and grand tradition, with the men’s tournament celebrating its 50th year in 2015 and the women’s its 42nd. When the men’s edition was first established in 1965 volleyball had only just entered the Olympics. Who would have thought that half a century later it would be so entwined in the Games, with the top two teams from each gender earning a coveted Olympic berth.
The tournament is the FIVB’s second oldest event, but it was not always a qualifier for the Olympics. This was first introduced in 1991 and has provided an extra subplot for what was already an incredibly important tournament. The tournament has a rich past, welcoming some of the biggest and brightest stars from the world of volleyball. That tradition will of course continue in 2015.
Japan can boast a long and varied volleyball history and – as hosts of every edition since 1977 – have made their own unique mark on the World Cup. The Japan Volleyball Association and Fuji Television Network Inc. are leading the way in terms of spectator experience, innovation and broadcast quality and can be proud of creating such a great product for fans.
My congratulations to the teams who have made it this far, but if they want their own road to Rio to continue heading straight, they have a lot more work to do.
Dr. Ary S. Graça F°