Volleyball – Women’s Volleyball at Olympics
Women’s volleyball in Olympics has been dominated by 5 teams as far as gold medal heroics are concerned. It was all about the Soviets and Japanese for the first 4 games. The two nations stood first and second in the first two round robin tournaments with Japan winning at home in 1964 and the Soviets 4 years later. They also contested the next two finals with the Soviets triumphing in 1972 and the Japanese having their last Olympic hurrah in Montreal in 1976. If you are a beginner at this sport, then I highly suggest you invest in the best women’s volleyball shoes. Click here to read more about them.
The Japanese faded but the Soviets continued to shine, winning two more gold medals in the next 3 Olympic Games. Their two golds sandwiched one by China. The 1988 final was particularly dramatic where the Soviet women pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat against Peru. Peru led by two sets to nothing and were cruising when the Soviets decided to turn up and win the final 3-2.
The Soviet domination was ended in 1992 by Cuba. The Cuban team dominated the sport like no other for decade in which they won 3 consecutive Olympic gold medals, 4 consecutive world cups and 2 consecutive world championships. They won 8 international trophies in a row which was unprecedented and remains a record. Their team of world beaters included regal Torres, who is widely considered to be the best woman volleyball player of all time.
The Cuban dominance was ended by China in the 2004 semifinal. The Chinese went on the win the gold medal but it was the other semifinal involving Russia and Brazil that grabbed more headlines as a sporting spectacle. Both the men’s and women’s teams from Russia have had some amazing come from behind victories to their name in the Olympic Games but this one is probably the greatest of them all. At one point in the match the Brazilians were leading by 2 sets to 1 and had 5 match points. The Russian team, in typical Russian fashion, showed their tenacity to win the match from there. It is one of the most incredible matches in the annals for Olympic volleyball.
The Chinese victory was followed by two gold medals for Brazil who were gunning for their third consecutive gold medal at their home Olympics in Rio 2016. However, they lost to a Chinese team in the quarter finals that would eventually emerge as the overall winners beating by Serbia in the final.
The young Chinese team was barely able to qualify from their group but grew in confidence as the tournament went on. They are widely tipped to be a super power in volleyball for years to come as most of their team is extremely young and is only expected to get better.