ANAHEIM, California (July 22, 2016) – The day after the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Teams joined their Beach Volleyball Team counterparts for an Olympic Games send-off at the Los Angeles Angels versus Texas Rangers baseball game in Anaheim, the USA Volleyball Foundation hosted a reception in Downtown Disney for volleyball Olympians from past generations to meet the 2016 Olympians heading to Rio.
The reception included three Olympians from the 1964 teams who competed in the first-ever volleyball Olympic Games. Linda Murphy and Jane Ward played in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, while Chuck Nelson competed on the men’s side. Other volleyball Olympians meeting the 2016 Olympic class were three-time Olympian Tayyiba Haneef-Park, two-time Olympian Liane Sato and 2000 Olympian Sarah Noriega Sulentor. Karch Kiraly, who is now the head coach for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is also a three-time Olympic Games gold-medalist.
“I always enjoy spending time with former U.S. Women’s National Team members and former Olympic Team members,” said U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team setter Alisha Glass, who will be making her first Olympic Games appearance come next month. “They have so much knowledge, so many cool stories and they just have a different perspective. They talk about how the program has grown, how it has changed. It is really incredible to see where it has come from and where it is now. You are a lot more grateful for the things we can do and things we are able to do. It really is refreshing to talk to and spend time with them.”
“This is really an eye-opening experience,” said U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team middle David Lee, who will be participating in his third Olympic Games. “I got to meet two players, one from the men’s and women’s team that were both part of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It really gave me an appreciation for what we are in for now – to talk to players who played in the very first volleyball Olympics and kind of started the tradition of what USA Volleyball is today. It is a special time for our times, and I am proud of this tradition. I know I will come back in future years to help send off our teams.”
Along with Olympians from the various generations, representatives from the City of Anaheim – the official host city for the U.S. Men’ and Women’s National Teams – and Sports Anaheim were on hand. Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring and Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray took part in the reception held at Downtown Disney.