Beach Volleyball

Facts

Discipline of Volleyball
Participants 436
NOCs 44
Competitions held 14 (Venues)
Distinct events 4
IF Fédération Internationale de Volleyball

Description

Beach volleyball became popular in the 1980s, played originally on the beaches of Southern California. It was described by one prominent Olympic historian (Ian Buchanan) as “Baywatch with a medal ceremony”. Unlike the indoor six-person game, beach volleyball is played usually by two-person teams, although events with four-person teams have been contested. The game is played on a sand-based surface. The international governing body of beach volleyball is the Fédération internationale de volley-ball (FIVB), which was formed in April 1947 and had 222 member nations as of 2020.

Beach volleyball was added to the Olympic Program in 1996 and has since been contested at each Olympics. The first men’s gold medal went to the USA team of Karch Kiraly, often considered the greatest ever volleyballer, and his teammate Kent Steffes. Two women have won three gold medals, with Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor winning the title in 2004, 2008, and 2012, while among the men both Emanuel and Ricardo (BRA) have won a full set of medals. The two dominant nations have been Brazil, with 13 medals and 3 golds, and the United States, with 10 medals and 6 gold medals.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 7 2 2 11
Brazil BRA 3 7 3 13
Germany GER 2 0 1 3
Australia AUS 1 1 1 3
Norway NOR 1 0 0 1
People's Republic of China CHN 0 1 1 2
Italy ITA 0 1 0 1
Russian Olympic Committee ROC 0 1 0 1
Spain ESP 0 1 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 0 2 2
Canada CAN 0 0 1 1
Latvia LAT 0 0 1 1
Netherlands NED 0 0 1 1
Qatar QAT 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Russian Federation RUS 2 0 0 2
Brazil BRA 1 0 0 1
Sweden SWE 1 0 0 1
Canada CAN 0 1 0 1
Italy ITA 0 1 0 1
Netherlands NED 0 1 0 1
Venezuela VEN 0 1 0 1
Argentina ARG 0 0 2 2
Germany GER 0 0 1 1
Norway NOR 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Kerri Walsh Jennings USA 3 0 1 4
Misty May-Treanor USA 3 0 0 3
Emanuel BRA 1 1 1 3
Ricardo BRA 1 1 1 3
April Ross USA 1 1 1 3
Alison BRA 1 1 0 2
Natalie Cook AUS 1 0 1 2
Kerri-Ann Pottharst AUS 1 0 1 2
Sandra BRA 1 0 1 2
Jackie Silva BRA 1 0 0 1
Kent Steffes USA 1 0 0 1
Karch Kiraly USA 1 0 0 1
Dain Blanton USA 1 0 0 1
Eric Fonoimoana USA 1 0 0 1
Jonas Reckermann GER 1 0 0 1
Laura Ludwig GER 1 0 0 1
Phil Dalhausser USA 1 0 0 1
Todd Rogers USA 1 0 0 1
Julius Brink GER 1 0 0 1
Kira Walkenhorst GER 1 0 0 1
Bruno Schmidt BRA 1 0 0 1
Christian Sørum NOR 1 0 0 1
Alix Klineman USA 1 0 0 1
Anders Mol NOR 1 0 0 1

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Eduarda Lisboa BRA 1 0 0 1
Ana Patrícia Ramos BRA 1 0 0 1
Oleg Stoyanovsky RUS
ROC
1 0 0 1
Artyom Yarzutkin RUS 1 0 0 1
David Åhman SWE 1 0 0 1
Jonatan Hellvig SWE 1 0 0 1
Mariya Bocharova RUS 1 0 0 1
Mariya Voronina RUS 1 0 0 1
Megan McNamara CAN 0 1 0 1
Nicole McNamara CAN 0 1 0 1
José Gómez VEN 0 1 0 1
Rolando Hernández VEN 0 1 0 1
Yorick de Groot NED 0 1 0 1
Matthew Immers NED 0 1 0 1
Nicol Bertozzi ITA 0 1 0 1
Claudia Scampoli ITA 0 1 0 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Beach Volleyball Men 7
Beach Volleyball Women 7
Beach Volleyball Boys 2
Beach Volleyball Girls 2