Brazil, a country renowned for excellence in indoor and beach volleyball, is now aiming to become a world force at the Paralympic Sport of Sitting Volleyball.
The task in making them a world force has fallen to Amauri Ribeiro, an Olympic gold medallist in indoor volleyball from the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and now President of the Brazilian Association of Paralympic Volleyball.
Having coached the Men’s Sitting Volleyball team from 2004 to 2009, Ribeiro knows a difficult task lies ahead.
“In Beijing 2008, the men’s team reached fifth place having lost to China in front of 8,000 people. The level between third and eighth places is quite equal, only Iran and Bosnia Herzegovina are one step ahead,” explained Ribeiro.
“In Iran, Sitting Volleyball is very popular, played all around the country and the Bosnian team had spent some time in Iran training and sharing knowledge.”
Despite recognizing the strengths of the opponents, Ribeiro has ambitious plans for his country in the years leading to Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Amauri Ribeiro said: “For London 2012 the objectives are having a female team debuting in the Games and to win the first medal in the men’s team. For Rio we want nothing but gold.”