AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
Four-time Olympian Ana Paula thinks she understands why the crowds have been so supportive at the Copacabana volleyball venue during the Olympics.
It’s because Brazilians care more about volleyball now than even soccer.
That’s like an American saying he prefers field hockey to football.
Ana Paula, who is working the Rio Games as part of the venue entertainment crew, played volleyball at four Olympics, two indoor and two beach. She won a bronze medal with the Brazilian indoor team in Atlanta.
She says: “Some people hammer me for this statement, but I don’t think Brazil is a soccer country anymore.”
Brazil has turned out for beach volleyball in Rio, and the teams have responded. All four Brazilian teams made it into the knockout stage, and top women’s team Agatha and Barbara beat China on Friday to reach the quarterfinals.
In the other morning match, the Russian men beat Qatar.