|Competitions held||30 (Venues)|
Volleyball, like basketball, is a sport whose origin is known almost to the day. Oddly, both sports were invented at the same college and within a few years of one another. Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan, a student at Springfield College and a director of the YMCA at Holyoke, Massachusetts. The game was originally called “minionette”.
Volleyball quickly spread around the world and became more popular in other countries than in the United States. The sport was introduced in the Olympics in 1964 by the Japanese, although it was never contested as a demonstration sport at the Olympics. No country has been truly dominant in volleyball. However, through 2022, the Soviet Union still has the most medals, with 12 medals and seven golds, followed by Brazil and the USA.
Originally, the Japanese had the world’s best women’s players, while the United States had the best men’s team in the world for most of the 1980s. Currently, there are 11 players with two gold medals among the men, and three players with a total of four medals, but only Brazilian Serginho is on both lists. On the women’s side, Inna Ryskal has won four medals at Olympics, including two golds. Four Cuban female players – Regla Bell, Marlenis Costa, Mireya Luis, and Regla Torres – have uniquely won three gold medals at the Olympic Games.
Volleyball has now reached new heights of popularity, spurred on by beach volleyball, played by the ocean or on any sand-covered court, by two-man teams of scantily-clad players. In 1993, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved beach volleyball as an Olympic sport, and it has been contested since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The international governing body of volleyball, and also of beach volleyball, is the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), which was formed in April 1947, and has 222 member nations as of 2022.
|People's Republic of China||CHN||3||1||2||6|
|Serbia and Montenegro||SCG||1||0||1||2|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||PRK||0||0||1||1|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||0||1||1|
|Inna Ryskal|| AZE
|Lyudmila Buldakova|| RUS
|Nina Smoleyeva|| KAZ
|Ana Ivis Fernández||CUB||2||0||1||3|
|Yury Poyarkov|| URS
|Ilka Van de Vyver||BEL||1||0||0||1|
|Lore Van den Vonder||BEL||1||0||0||1|
|Sophie van Nimmen||BEL||1||0||0||1|
|Juan Andrés León||CUB||1||0||0||1|
|Wilfredo León|| CUB
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|