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Lausanne, Switzerland, July 15, 2016 – Korean star spiker Kim Yeon-Kyung, who won the Most Valuable Player Award at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Chinese beach spiker Xue Chen, who partnered Zhang Xi to capture gold medal at the 2013 World Beach Volleyball Championships, are two players from Asia to be included in the FIVB Athletes’ Commission, which have been approved for the first time by the FIVB Board of Administration. 

The FIVB Board of Administration on Friday announced it had approved the creation of the very first FIVB Athletes’ Commission and confirmed the list of athletes to be nominated as its members as the federation formalises the long-term and loyal relations with its global network of athletes and re-affirms its commitment to ensuring athletes are the focus of its administration. 

The Commission is made up of 10 athletes from nine different countries representing both volleyball and beach volleyball and will be officially launched at the Volleyball House in Rio during the 2016 Olympic Games in the presence of the IOC and the IOC Athletes’ Commission. The Commission will strengthen the link between the FIVB and the athletes and ensure that the voice of the athletes continues to be well represented in all the FIVB’s decisions.

Former Olympic volleyball champion and three-time World Championship winner Giba from Brazil will lead the Commission as its President and Serbian Olympic volleyball champion from the 2000 Olympic Games and FIVB Development Commission member Vladimir Grbic will be the Commission’s Secretary.  They will be joined by a host of other former champions including London 2012 Olympic champion in beach volleyball Julius Brink from Germany and three-time Olympic beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh Jennings from the United States, who is currently preparing for the Rio Olympic Games. 

The FIVB is already 100% committed to the IOC Athletes’ Career Programme and the creation of the Athletes’ Commission, which was originally approved by the FIVB Board of Administration in 2015, is seen as an important step in its ongoing support to athletes in line with Recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020. 

FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça said: “The FIVB considers the formal creation of the Athletes’ Commission as an important step forward in our dedicated pursuit to provide athletes with the resources and environments to excel in.  

“The athletes are the stars of our sport and we always ensure their experience is at the heart of every FIVB event.  We are 100% committed to creating a platform for their voices to be heard to enable them to take an active role in the decision making process.  And, as we look to become the number one family sport entertainment in the world, athletes are the best ambassadors to convey our core values of universality, good governance and innovation around the world.”

Other current players on the Commission include Chinese beach volleyball player Xue Chen and volleyballers Eleonora Lo Bianco VB (ITA), Bartosz Kurek, who is currently participating in the FIVB Volleyball World League Finals Krakow 2016, and Korean superstar Kim Yeon-Kyung.

FIVB Athletes’ Commission 

•        Mr. Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho (Giba) VB (BRA) – President of the Commission 

•        Mr. Vladimir Grbic VB (SRB) – Secretary

•        Mrs. Ekaterina Gamova VB (RUS)

•        Mr. Julius Brink BVB (GER)

•        Ms. Xue Chen BVB (CHN)

•        Mr. Emanuel Rego BVB (BRA) [expert]

•        Ms. Eleonora Lo Bianco VB (ITA)

•        Mr. Bartosz Kurek VB (POL)

•        Mrs. Kerri Walsh BVB (USA)

•        Ms. Kim Yeon-Kyung VB (KOR)