Was beach Volleyball played in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, etc. BEFORE it became an Olympic sport?
I know these countries have beautiful lake beaches, but they are not places where one usually thinks beach sports are played.
I must say the women from these countries give the more traditional “beach” countries like USA, Australia, Brazil, etc. all they can handle during the matches.
And its one sport that will never get cancelled (like baseball and softball). I’ve heard that the TV ratings for the women’s matches are through the roof. Nothing like young women jumping around in swimsuits to boast the viewer count.
Why not? I just looked up the history of an annual Denver, Colorado beach volleyball tournament. They had results going back to 1978. Not a lot of beaches in Colorado. So if we can have a 30 plus year tradition, no reason the Swiss couldn’t either. And looking at records, a Norwegian team won the Men’s FIVB World Tour in 1994. So while the sport has been dominated by US and Brazilian teams there were teams from other places.
But from what I can tell, international play was still pretty weaksauce when it was approved for Olympics inclusion. In '93 (the year it was approved), the US had 55 professional beach volleyball tournaments; internationally there were 4 tournaments (3 in Brazil and 1 in Japan); and the European league held a single tournament. So my guess is, that provided the minimum requirements for 3 continents. And there were enough individual teams (you only need 2 people after all) from enough different places to meet the country requirements. But when 55 of the 60 pro events in the world are held in a single country… well it seems likely that only that country really has a strong tradition in the sport.
Compare that to 2011, when the US only had 31 pro tournaments, the International league had 35, Europe had 24, and Latin America had 18. So obviously global interest, and European interest in particular has grown in the past couple of decades. Not too surprising to see US/Brazilian dominance being challenged.
While Switzerland and Austria are landlocked, Germany does have quite a long coastline with lots of ocean beaches as well. Admittedly they are on the North Sea and the Baltic, which are not exactly tropical, but plenty of the beaches are popular with Germans who wear even less than the beach volleyball players.
Yes, it was front-page news here in England last month - the announcement that the players would be allowed to cover up if the temperature dropped below 16ºC. After a brief warm spell in the run-up to the Games, it’s now gone back to the crappy weather we’ve had for most of this summer (and the last five summers before this one, to be honest!)
I disagree with you about the sport though - I think it would still be entertaining even if they were wearing baggy tracksuits.
That in and of itself shows that the Olympics are whoring out female athletes rather than promoting sport. Why would the players need to be “allowed” to cover up? There is no competitive advantage in wearing a T-shirt.
And its super sexist to require women to dress scantily while simultaneously requiring men to wear a shirt.
Yes, there’s a common misconception that the Olympics organization makes the rules for the sports. With very rare exceptions, they don’t. The governing bodies of the individual sports makes the rules. All the IOC says is that each sport must have a governing body.