2015-09-16 14:13:00 CEST
The USA, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Italy, and Germany will be represented at these 2015 Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - going head to head on the sands of one of the most beautiful beaches in South Florida.
Twenty elite teams from eight different countries in 3 separate continents will clash for the World Tour Title in 2 weeks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Both men’s and women’s champions will receive a record $100,000 as well as a custom made trophy designed by Brazilian pop-artist and Miami legend, Romero Britto.
Nine of the 20 women’s athletes in the competition have participated in the Olympics over the past seven years and eight of the 20 men’s athletes in the competition have participated in the Olympic games over the past eleven years.
The oldest male & female athletes in the finals are both American players - Jake Gibb (39) and Jen Kessy (38) while the youngest male athlete is Daniele Lupo (ITA) at the age of 24. The youngest female athlete competing in Fort Lauderdale, Kira Walkenhorst (GER), is also 24.
The beach volleyball rivalry between the USA and Brazil dates back to 1987 where the very first international FIVB sanctioned Beach Volleyball tournament was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two Americans named Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos won that tournament and started what has become one of the most heated rivalries in sports history. In fact, the first ever Olympic Beach Volleyball competition took place in the year 2000 in Sydney, Australia and the gold medal match was won by Americans Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana over Brazilians Zé Marco and Ricardo Costa. At the 2012 London Olympics, the first men's Olympic gold medal not won by the United States or Brazil was finally earned by Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann (GER). The USA and Brazil have a history of domination and winning streaks that can only be attributed to the strong pool of talent and athleticism that has emerged from these powerhouses on either side of the equator. With the FIVB World Tour Finals being hosted in America for the very first time during a season where the top men’s and women's Brazilian teams seem unstoppable, we look forward to seeing this rivalry renewed. The sands of Florida await this clashing of athletes with 6 other elite countries all battling for the 2015 World Tour Title and the biggest single payday of their careers.