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Find schedules, team rosters, athlete bios, news and broadcast/streaming information on our Tokyo Olympics page.

Tokyo Olympic Games Close Announcement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 17, 2016) – Why do legends of the game like the sport of volleyball so much and what do they feel are volleyball’s special values that have impacted their life in general?

Find out how five legendary volleyball figures – Mark Pavlik, Bill Hamiter, Patricia Salvatore, Allison Aldrich and Glenn Sapp – responded below. All five legends will be honored at USA Volleyball’s Dorothy C. Boyce Awards on May 25 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.

Allison Aldrich – USA Volleyball All-Time Great Female Sitting Player/Three-Time Paralympic medalist
What did you like about the sport that made you stay with it?
It was the first time I was judged on my ability not my disability in the sports world. In sports from grade school to high school, I was always looked at for having a fake leg. I knew I had to find a new way of competing, but I think my coaches always thought I would have this bionic leg that would make me run fast and jump high. When I was at my first camp and until I retired, I was judged on how well I could play the sport next to my teammates because we were all disabled, not how well I could keep up with my teammates because I was different. Every disabled athletes feels this and just wants to be treated normal. Playing sitting volleyball opened my eyes to being treated like a normal high class athlete. I bring this in my coaching endeavours now because every athlete should have a chance as long as they try.

What are the special values of volleyball and how did these values affect your life?
Playing sitting volleyball and traveling the world, I am thankful to be from the USA. This country has given me opportunities that I see other countries not give their women. I am blessed to be from the USA and all it has given to me. It has also taught me that if I can do anything with my one leg, than my students can do anything with their 2 legs. You must be determined to push past any obstacles standing in your way to reach your goals. Volleyball is quick, and if you do not slow down to respect it you might lose out. It has given me opportunities to be the best version of myself and when I needed someone, volleyball was there. It has helped to shape me into the person I am today and I am truly grateful for that.

Bill Hamiter – George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award/U.S. Women’s Sitting Team Head Coach
What did you like about the sport that made you stay with it?
I enjoyed the technical and tactical parts of volleyball. The challenge and enjoyment was for me to apply my kinesthetic knowledge to the training of the game.

What are the special values of volleyball and how did these values affect your life?
Volleyball has given me a chance to build relationships with hundreds of players of all ages. It is something special to be able to teach life lessons along with volleyball and have players tell you the difference you have made in their life. My heart still swells when I receive a call from a player that I coached over 5, 10 or 20 years ago to ask me for advice or just let me know good things that are happening in their life. There is nothing greater than those types of relationships!

Mark Pavlik – USA Volleyball All-Time Great Coach – Contemporary Division/Penn State Men’s Head Coach
What did you like about the sport that made you stay with it?
Without a doubt it is the special fraternity that exists in the men’s game! The true friendships, mentors and camaraderie which extends through our game makes our competition among the healthiest in the world of sports. We want to kick each other’s butts but as soon as the match ends it becomes, “Hey, want to grab something to eat?” That, I am sure, trickles down to our student-athletes and creates a very healthy example of what competition should be about!

What are the special values of volleyball and how did these values affect your life?
Volleyball is a sport where your skills are not interfered with by the opponent. They cannot come across the net and set a pick on you; they cannot tackle you and prevent you from playing the ball. They can only perform on their side of the net to the highest level at which they are capable. You are challenged by being personally accountable for your level of play and, in my opinion, your major responsibility is making those around you better. It is a self-less sport and when a team mindfully understands what it takes to be successful as a team it becomes a very beautiful sport and a great example of how to live one’s life.

Patricia Salvatore – George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award/Long-time FIVB and USAV Official
What did you like about the sport that made you stay with it?
Being a pioneer for women, seeing how good I could get, how far I could go, no matter what I had to deal with along way!?! But, I never wanted to continue ‘just because of being a woman.’ If I couldn’t be good enough, I would have stepped aside. I never wanted to be the ‘token’ woman that didn’t earn her position! I was many times the ‘token’ woman, but I earned my place, held my own! Also, I wanted to be a good example for other women, on and off the court!

Ironically, I was actually going to retire from officiating in 1992 when I was officiating my second NCAA Men’s Championship. I was now the only woman to work two men’s finals, and most everything else, numerous times. So, I felt that I had reached the highest I could in all volleyball officiating endeavors in the USA. And, sadly, I wasn’t hearing very good news about the next level, the FIVB! I was only hearing that they weren’t thinking about adding women to their top cadre in the near future. But, my heavenly guide (God), and earthly guide (Wink Davenport, Commissioner of USAV International/National Referees) had other plans. At that very 1992 NCAA Men’s Finals (that I had the honor of whistling with Wink), he asked me if I was interested in officiating an FIVB Women’s Pre-Olympic Tour in China with USA, Japan, Cuba and China – top teams in the world at the time. He barely got all of the words out of his mouth before I said ‘YESS!” And, the tour just happened to be over my birthday week! My best birthday present to date! And in 1994, I was Wink’s last candidate before he left his USAV position to attend an FIVB International Referee course, which I passed, in Nanjing, China, that year!

What are the special values of volleyball and how did these values affect your life?
Life lessons – learning them for myself, and teaching others, along the way! Volleyball can better anyone individually, and collectively with others, through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth on and off the court. And, its effects continue to be life changing!

Glenn Sapp – George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award/Longtime Commissioner of Rocky Mountain Region and Official
What did you like about the sport that made you stay with it?
So many things already stated. The GAME is really one for a lifetime and there are always opportunities to enjoy and contribute at so many levels. I started out as a player and this evolved into Playing and Officiating and as my playing days dwindled it became Officiating and Coaching. Somewhere along the line it also included help with administration. I think this is a very common theme with many involved with the game and many who have previously received awards from this organization. That is why it is such an honor to be considered for such an award given the rarified air of so many great contributors to this sport, I hardly feel worthy of this honor.

What are the special values of volleyball and how did these values affect your life?
Volleyball has made me a more patient and committed person. I have always been a somewhat driven person. Many aspects of volleyball both playing and officiating takes time (experience) and practice. These factors curbed some of my more natural tendencies and I think enhanced my perspectives on life and achievement. Plateaus are reached but there are always new challenges in some form. Be it as a player, official or coach. Particularly as an official or a coach, the learning and improving never stops or shouldn’t. Volleyball has helped with my overall Sportsmanship as a player, Official and Coach. It has helped with the ability to mentor and be mentored and those types of relationships. The Administrative side has taught me how better to work with folks of differing opinions or viewpoints on how to reach similar goals to enhance and better the sport. As far as I am concerned, even through difficult times or decision making, it has always been a win-win relationship.