Beach Volley Grand Slam Gstaad 2011
When one thinks about Gstaad, the first thing that may spring to mind first is probably the celebrity-filled hideaway nestled in a magnificent valley in Southwestern Switzerland surrounded by the Alps. When one thinks about Beach Volleyball, Gstaad is probably not even in most people s thoughts.
However, for over 10 years now, Gstaad holds a Grand Slam of the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour at an altitude of 1’050 m (3’444 ft.) above sea level, the highest altitude on which the FIVB holds beach volleyball contests. The alpine village even held the Beach Volleyball World Championship back in 2007. Surrounding the beach courts are the traditional Swiss chalets of Gstaad situated at the base of high, frequently snow-covered peaks providing a most incongruent scene for a beach volleyball event in land-locked Switzerland!
This year’s edition showed world class beach volleyball played by the world’s top players competing to qualify for the Olympic Games in London next year. The semi-finals and finals during the weekend attracted a very large crowd and the stadium of over 6’000 seats was sold-out on both days. The players appreciate playing in Gstaad. Brazil’s Emanuel commented after his game on Saturday against Russia, The atmosphere on center court today was unbelievable. People in Gstaad are interested in beach volleyball and you can feel that on court. Most of the games during the weekend were played during very nice alpine summer weather.
The results of the Grand Slam of Gstaad were:
For the women:
- Larissa-Juliana (BRA)
- Xue-Zhang Xi (CHN)
- Cicolari-Menegatti (ITA)
For the men:
- Emanuel-Alison (BRA)
- Rogers-Dalhausser (USA)
- Brink-Reckermann (GER)
Special thanks should go to the organizing team as well as to the 500 volunteers for turning this world famous beach volleyball tour into a superb event. A friendly and warm welcome and a very helpful staff enabled visitors to enjoy the hospitality of the delightful village of Gstaad.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour or the event, visit www.fivb.org. For information on the FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011, visit www.beachworldtour.ch.
Next year, the event is scheduled on July 2nd – 8th 2012.
See www.pbase.com/tcom/chbeachvolleygstaad2011 for more photos of the event.