Santa Fe, Argentina, August 24, 2017 - The presence of Russian legend Ekaterina Gamova at the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship has been something special for the national team of her country.
The two-time Olympic medal winner and twice world champion is part of the Russian delegation at the age group tournament.
Match by match, she observes and follows the performances of the Russian team who are thought of as one of the favourites in the competition.
“I am so glad to be with the girls and I hope we can have a successful tournament,” said Gamova, who also accompanied the team to a training camp before the competition.
“Our girls do their best game by game and I think that they will improve to be better players - they are part of the next generation that is working hard,” she remarked.
Learning is also part of Gamova's new role with the delegation and she has exchanged impressions with technical staff members like head coach Alexander Karikov and assistant Evgenii Koniagin.
From a young age, Russian volleyball players prepare for victory. No matter what level or category. Discipline and a strong fighter mentality are characteristic.
As an Olympic athlete, Gamova played in two finals, one in Sydney 2000 and one in Athens 2004. Russia finished with the silver medals after facing Cuba and China.
However, when talking about World Championships, Gamova and her fellow generation are the owners of two indisputable crowns won in 2006 and 2010. All her achievements have been important to be considered as part of the first Athletes Commission, a project that was approved by the FIVB Board of Administration in 2016.
“It is an honour and a great feeling to be considered part of the commission, we are here following the young teams and competitions,” she said about being included in a group composed of great ambassadors of volleyball and being part of the FIVB’s task force.
Besides the responsibility of being a Commission member, she also has other duties like the ones that brought her to South America for the Age Group World Championship.
“I don’t know if I could be considered an example or a mentor, I think the girls have the last word, but if somebody thinks so, yes I feel I can assume that part (being an example for these youngsters),” she stated. “I talk to them and I try to help them by sharing my experiences.”
Gamova and the Russian team have now moved to Rosario in order to continue with their participation in the tournament after beating Korea in the Round of 16.