Brazil Tops USA in Women’s Olympic Volleyball Final

Members of the Brazil women's volleyball team show off their gold medals following a 3-1 win over the United States during the women's gold medal volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London.Members of the Brazil women's volleyball team show off their gold medals following a 3-1 win over the United States during the women's gold medal volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London.
x
Members of the Brazil women's volleyball team show off their gold medals following a 3-1 win over the United States during the women's gold medal volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London.
Members of the Brazil women's volleyball team show off their gold medals following a 3-1 win over the United States during the women's gold medal volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London.
Parke Brewer

LONDON — Brazil has repeated as the Olympic women’s volleyball champion with a comeback victory over the United States.  Saturday night’s final was played at London’s Earl’s Court.  

The United States was seeking its first-ever gold medal in women’s Olympic volleyball, and after a dominating 25-11 opening set win, it appeared the Americans could achieve their goal.

But Brazil was able to regroup in the second set and never let the U.S. take control again, winning the next three sets 25-17, 25-20, 25-17, for the 3-1 victory.

Brazilian coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes, said after the first set, he had his players move away from their strengths and work instead on the U.S. team’s weaknesses. “We only could do it by exposing ourselves and doing stuff that we don’t normally do from strength.  And in so doing, we had players who wouldn’t normally be attacking or counter-attacking doing so.  Then when we were able to come back to our strong points, we did.  And we were thus able to overcome the Americans blocking us and defending," he said. 

U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said they were aware the Brazilians made changes after the first set. “We tried to make some adjustments to counter that, but you could see that Brazil kind of grew and grew with confidence and also their ability to execute as the match went on.  And it just became more difficult to get a foothold in there.  You know, I think our athletes were trying and we were certainly talking about adjustments and doing the best that we could to try to counter what they were throwing at us, but ultimately it was a little too much," he said. 

McCutcheon, a former New Zealand player, had guided the U.S. men’s volleyball to an upset win over Brazil at the last Olympics in Beijing, then took over the women’s program.

He had guided the U.S. women to the No. 1 world ranking and they had beaten Brazil in group round-robin play at these Olympics, 3-1.  So the women had confidence they could beat Brazil again and win the gold, but it was not to be.

U.S. captain Lindsey Berg, a four-time Olympian who said this was her last, had trouble controlling her emotions at the post-match news conference, but credited Brazil. “Right now I still believe we’re a gold medal team and I’ll believe it for the rest of time.  You know, Brazil, that was the first team that took us out of our rhythm, our system.  They served tough and we got in some passing trouble which leads to me not being able to do what I do best and give my hitters the best opportunity," she said. 

But Berg added they can still be proud of winning the silver medal, only the third time since women’s volleyball was added to the Olympics in 1964 that the U.S. women have done that. “We made an incredible run.  We were undefeated all summer, and obviously it’s disappointing but obviously it’s an incredible journey that we did these last four years and I’m proud of my team," she said. 

Like Berg, this was teammate Logan Tom’s fourth Olympics, and she too will move on to other things, but Tom says the U.S. team has a good base for the future. “The good thing about this team is a lot of the girls are young.  For a lot of them this is their first (Olympics).  They have a lot of room to grow and I think they are going to take this (experience) and roll with it.  They’re really good girls.  They work really hard, and they really want this (a gold medal) bad.  So I think they are going to come back with a lot of fire and a lot of grit and I am excited to watch," she said. 

In the match for the women’s volleyball bronze medal, Japan defeated South Korea 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-21). 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs