World Tour legends show the way as new season begins

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 14, 2017 - His stats are incredible: 256 events, 77 titles and $2,562,273 in earnings. As a new season of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gets started, Brazilian Emanuel Rego still shows the way forward.

As a young player, Emanuel was so thin he was known as “Bones”. The Brazilian, however, stamped his true name on beach volleyball and was instrumental in taking the sport to a new level.

Between 1996 and 2012, Emanuel was also the only player to be involved in the first five Olympic Games to feature beach volleyball. And he won a full set of Olympic medals in the process.

“I’ve had a beautiful career. I always wanted to be a role model for young players,” he once said during one of the countless tributes to his unique career. Even today, he is busy shaping the future of the game as a member of the FIVB Athletes Commission.

Many of Emanuel's titles came alongside Ricardo Santos, who - with 56 titles, 229 events and $1,901,183 in prize money - is the second most successful player on the tour.

Third in the list in terms of victories and earnings is American Phil Dalhausser, who was recently named ‘Most Outstanding Player’ on the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. “It’s a huge honour to receive this award,” said Dalhausser.

Dalhausser has won 37 gold medals on the World Tour and earned $1,244,990. His 80.9 match winning percentage (539-127) ranks first among all male players in the 31-season history of the event. His 30 post-season awards also make him the number one on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since voting started at the end of the 2005 season.

Other players with double-digit award totals are Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (26) and Misty May-Treanor (13), Brazilians Larissa Franca (20), Emanuel Rego (11), Juliana Felisberta (10) and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (10), and German Laura Ludwig (11).

Related article:
Dalhausser regains Most Outstanding Player title

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was already creating legends before these awards were introduced, however. The early years following the launch of the FIVB tour in 1989/90 were all about Americans Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos. Then came the start of Brazilian dominance, led primarily by Emanuel. In recent years, Dalhausser has been a dominant force. Players to look out for this season also include the likes of Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, who have been among the key teams in recent years.

In the women’s competition, reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst from Germany are among the most successful pairs on the World Tour.

Related article:
Ludwig voted World Tour’s Most Outstanding Player

Duos from Brazil and the USA have also been at the forefront of the women's sport. Iconic names include Brazilian pairs Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva, Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede and Larissa/Juliana Felisberta. Larissa is the most successful woman in the history of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - she also claimed FIVB Beach Volleyball Team of the Year honours with her partner Talita Antunes in 2017.

“I am incredibly grateful for what the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has given me over the many years,” Larissa once said.

Related article:
Brazilians Evandro/Andre and Larissa/Talita claim Team of the Year honours

Three-time Olympic champions Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor from the USA are also right up there among the legends of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. “I love the game of volleyball, and I’ve enjoyed watching our sport develop. It’s brought new friendships, it’s opened my eyes to the world, and it’s taught me so much about myself,” said May-Treanor.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrate gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games

“I always wanted to play with passion and I wanted to let my love for the game shine through this talent I had. I wanted to inspire and I wanted to change the way the game was played. And most of all I wanted to make an impact.” She certainly did – and as a new season begins, be sure to look out for the new names and faces who will be following in the footsteps of these legends of the sport.

Quick links - Beach volleyball:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna 2017 presented by A1 - Beach Volleyball
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