City of Anaheim Opens Up Historical FIVB World Congress

Sept. 19, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

FIVB contributed to this release

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 19, 2012) – The City of Anaheim stood front-and-center Wednesday on the opening day of the historic 33rd FIVB World Congress taking place Sept. 19-21 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.

Tom Tait, mayor of the City of Anaheim, welcomed 262 delegates representing a record 201 countries (193 accredited National Federations plus eight proxies) attending the FIVB World Congress that will conclude on Friday with the organization’s first democratically elected president. Doug Beal, chief executive officer of USA Volleyball, is one of three candidates running to become the FIVB’s fourth-ever president and serving through the 2016 Olympic Games. Beal’s opponents are Brazil’s Dr. Ary Graça and Australia’s Chris Schacht.

In his welcoming remarks, Tait informed the delegates of the rich connection the city has to volleyball and beach volleyball. The City of Anaheim is the official host city for both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, while the Southern California area is home to many of the world’s top elite beach volleyball players.

"We are very proud of the performance of our national teams at the recent London Olympic Games for a country where more than 46 million people practice this awesome sport in the United States,” Tait said.

After the second morning session on Wednesday, the City of Anaheim hosted a delegates luncheon inside the Disneyland Hotel. City of Anaheim councilwoman Kris Murray provided the keynote address during the luncheon providing a history of Anaheim’s history and connections to the sport with USA Volleyball.

Along with Tait representing the City of Anaheim during the opening ceremony, USA Volleyball, the United States Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the FIVB had leaders address the record-number of delegates.

Mrs. Anita DeFrantz, a lifetime member of the International Olympic Committee who is its first-ever female vice-president, expressed her best wishes to the participants on behalf of IOC President Jacques Rogge.

“On behalf of Mr. Rogge and myself I wish you the best during this congress where you will be electing new leadership,” Mrs. DeFrantz said.

She was followed with welcome speeches by Larry Probst, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, and Beal.

“The USOC is very proud to have all delegates from the national federations of FIVB and I hope you can have a productive Congress,” Probst said.

Beal said the City of Anaheim can bring out the child in everyone inside Disneyland, but he added the significance of USA Volleyball hosting its third FIVB World Congress following 1984 in Long Beach, Calif., and 1996 at Atlanta in conjunction with corresponding Olympic Games.

Beal also thanked President Wei for his leadership leading the FIVB the past four years.

“I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute thanks to Mr. Jizhong Wei for his leadership and the way he has conducted FIVB during the past four years,” Beal said to a big round of applause from the delegates.

Beal concluded his welcome with a two-minute video clip highlighting recent and past Olympic Games.

The 2006 Congress in Tokyo, Japan also featured 196 federations.

The FIVB Congress is being streamed live at: click here

FIVB Press Releases:
Sept. 19: FIVB’s Achievements Were, Are and Will be the Shared Effort and the Dedication of All the FIVB’s Family Members
Sept. 19: City of Anaheim Mayor Welcomes FIVB Congress Delegates
Sept. 19: FIVB Congress Streamed Live on the Internet
Sept. 18: 2nd FIVB Congress Workshop Resounding Success
Sept. 18: Africa Delegates Thank FIVB for Development Support
Sept. 17: FIVB Board Confirms Agenda and Voting Procedures Ahead of Congress
Sept. 16: Board Meeting Starts FIVB Congress Week in Anaheim
Sept. 14: New Era for FIVB Set to Begin in Anaheim