Beach volleyball goes supersize: enormous sculptures of the “FIVB Heroes” Emanuel Rego and Kerri Walsh stop off in Berlin

To make as many spectators as possible aware of the penultimate major tournament of elite international beach volleyball before the London 2012 Olympics, from July 2 to July 15 five metre high sculptures of the defending champions from the last Grand Slam in Berlin in 2008, Emanuel Rego (Brazil) and Kerri Walsh (USA), will be exhibited at key inner city locations.

The oversized sculptures of world-class players Emanuel Rego and Kerri Walsh are part of the image campaign “FIVB Heroes” which the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is using to promote beach volleyball and volleyball worldwide. On Monday July 2 the iconic statues are on show at Potsdamer Platz, before being moved next to the world clock at Alexander Platz on July 8, and finally ending their journey in front of the Waldbühne before the start of the smart Grand Slam Berlin 2012 from July 13 to July 15.

“I am very moved and very proud that my sculpture will, for a few days, be in the place where the city was divided for years by the Berlin Wall. With their peaceful revolution in 1989, the Germans managed to demonstrate peace, human rights and mutual respect – values that are very important to me personally and for our sport,” said FIVB Hero Kerri Walsh. She and her fellow FIVB Hero Emanuel Rego will be staying in Berlin for a few days during the tournament.
Volleyball and sports fans, people of Berlin, visitors and tourists alike are invited to take pictures of the sculptures and upload them to www.FIVBheroes.com. The top three images – chosen by Emanuel Rego and Kerri Walsh – will win tickets to the final weekend as well as FIVB Heroes merchandise. The overall winner will even receive a backstage pass and get to meet a number of the FIVB Heroes.

A special highlight of the tournament will be an attempted entry into the Guinness Book of Records: 18,000 spectators at an official beach volleyball game is the goal and would secure the world record. It is hoped that the record will be achieved during the men’s finals on Saturday evening, on July 14 2012. Large helium balloons will illuminate the centre court and create a unique atmosphere in this unique amphitheatre set in the forest. Emanuel Rego, “FIVB Hero” and one of the world’s best beach volleyball players is clearly excited: “Berlin is a great city and the atmosphere here is always full of energy. I’m sure we will manage to establish a new world record in this amazing arena at night in the woods – yet another reason why I really want to qualify for the finals.”

FIVB Heroes is the official image campaign of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and was launched in June 2011. The “FIVB Heroes” stand not only for their athletic achievements but also for their lifestyle and social engagement. The campaign features the world’s most successful volleyball and beach volleyball players. As a partner of the United Nations, the “FIVB Heroes” support the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals which include the promotion of equal opportunities, children’s rights and access to education, and stand up for values that are part of the sport: respect, team spirit and fair play.