Beach volleyball is perhaps the sport most closely associated with the city of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil has won more Olympic medals in the event than any other country.
CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reports from Rio de Janeiro. Follow Lucrecia C. Franco on Twitter @LucreciaFranco
Ipanema became famous worldwide for bossa nova music, but this stretch of sand in Rio has also been serving as the practice court for Brazil’s Olympic beach volleyball hopefuls.
In their last public appearance before the games, Pedro Solberg and teammate Evandro Goncalves of one of two teams representing Brazil said they were dreaming with gold.
Brazilian teams have won the most beach volleyball medals, 11 out of 30, two of which were golds, since beach volleyball was added as an Olympic sport in Atlanta 1996.
Goncalves said many other countries have grown in the sport, but she believes that, for Brazil, being the host has its privileges.
Volleyball, both beach and indoor, is the second most popular sport in Brazil after football. But soccer is more like a religion in the country, according to Solberg.
It is with their hands and a net on their own beach sands that these future Olympians want to shine in the 2016 Rio Games.