News & Events
Volleyball Hall of Fame to honor six international stars and Japan Volleyball Association (JVA)
Contact Public Relations
22 September 2006
For Immediate Release
---Bernie Holtzman - Beach Volleyball Pioneer (USA)
---Endre Holvay - International Leader (Hungary
---Jackie Silva - 1996 Olympic Gold Medal (Brazil)
---Edward Skorek - 1976 Olympic Gold Medal (Poland)
---Nina Smoleeva - 1968 and 1972 Olympic Gold Medals (USSR)
---Shigeo Yamada - Coach - 1976 Olympic Gold Medal (Japan)
HOLYOKE, Mass. --- Six international greats of volleyball will be honored
here in the birthplace of the sport on Thursday, Oct. 12. Bernie Holtzman of the
United States, Endre Holvay of Hungary, Jackie Silva of Brazil, Edward Skorek
of Poland, Nina Smoleeva of USSR/ Russia and Shigeo Yamada of the Japan will be
inducted to the Volleyball Hall of Fame in an afternoon ceremony. The Japan
Volleyball Association with receive "Court of Honor Award."
The Hall's 21st enshrinement will take place at 2 p.m. at the Hall of Fame at
444 Dwight St. in Heritage State Park, immediately following a noon luncheon at
the Yankee Pedlar Inn. Admission to the ceremony is free of charge. Seating for
both events is limited.
The Induction Celebration Reception and Dinner will be held at the Log Cabin
Banquet & Meeting House beginning at 6 p.m. Short videos highlighting the inductees'
careers in volleyball will be shown. Luncheon tickets are $25 per person and Dinner
tickets cost $65 per person or $600 per table of ten.
Bernie Holtzman, who once said that "Volleyball is God's gift to the beach bum,"
started playing volleyball on the beach in 1935. At age 13, he would find ways to
travel from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier area to play.
Later, Holtzman competed during an era when only two or three "Open" tournaments were held each year. He and Manny Saenz formed a near-unbeatable tandem on the beach, winning 10 "Open" tournaments beginning with the 1948 State Beach Men's Open. Holtzman and Gene Selznick (1988 VHF inductee) formed another almost unbeatable combination as the two won 18 out of 20 "Open" tournaments beginning in 1955.
He stopped playing volleyball in 2004 at the age of 82 when the Hollywood YMCA scheduled "Volleyball-Play" in the gym at 10 p.m. Holtzman was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Association Hall of Fame in 1992. USA Volleyball recognized him on its 75th Anniversary Beach All-Era Team (1928-1952).
Holvay, a Budapest native, was introduced to volleyball as a high school student. As a competitive national player, he helped found the Hungarian Volleyball Federation. Holvay served the federation as a player, a coach and a referee.
He served two-terms as Hungarian Volleyball Federation President and was the Vice President of the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) for two terms, 1959 - 1961 and 1970 - 1972. The Federation has recognized Holvay for contributions to the sport with numerous accolades - the Memorial Diploma in 1977, Order of Merits in 1980, Centennial Medal in 1995, and the Silver Cross, which recognizes his
"outstanding contribution to the world prestige and image of volleyball," in 2002.
Since 1965, Holvay has served the National Hungarian Olympic Committee. The committee has recognized him with its highest honors, including the Medal of Merit in 1998. His country has also recognized him with the Hungarian People's Republic Sport Gold Medal in 1988, the Order Officer Cross in 1994, Sports Prize in 1998 and the Youth and Sports Minister's Count Miksa Eszterhazy prize for life-works.
Jacqueline Silva has been a volleyball icon for more than two decades. Best described by former teammates as determined and devoted, Silva has more than 100 combined wins at beach and indoor events. Known to fans as Jackie, the Rio de Janeiro native first encountered the sport on the Copacabana beaches at age nine. Silva was playing in international competitions less than five years later.
At 18, Silva finished seventh with the first Brazilian Olympic Women's Volleyball Team in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and in 1984 in Los Angeles.
With her passion for beach volleyball, Silva dominated the sand throughout the late 1980s and into the 1990s. Her first major international win came at the 1986 World Beach Volleyball Championship with former partner Rita Buck-Crockett.
She used her world title as momentum for the 1987 Women's Professional Volleyball Association tour. Named the WPVA Best Setter in 1992, Silva was ranked first on the 1989 and 1990 tours. She continued racking up wins on the 1993 Association of Volleyball Professionals tour and was selected as the Most Valuable Player in 1994.
In 1995, Silva won the FIVB Tour Championships with partner Sandra Pires. Her win made the Olympic Games the only major international event she had not won in her indoor or beach career. But Silva completed her resume, by capturing the inaugural Women's Beach Volleyball Gold Medal at 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
The Jackie Silva Institute runs an anti-drug abuse sports project that serves approximately 4,000 Brazilian children in 30 different communities.
With 33-year-old Edward Skorek as its captain, the Polish National Team won a Gold Medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games by defeating Russia in five sets. Skorek helped Poland rally from a 2-1 set deficit and 14-15 score in the third set. The Russian team had not lost a single set in the 1976 Olympics until the championship match.
Skorek played 12 years for Poland with more than 275 world-class competitions after the conclusion of the 1976 Olympics. He also ignited Poland to the 1974 World Championship title. Known as "the great bomber" for his cross-court shots and "straight-down spikes", Skorek went on to compete in the International Volleyball Association, a fledgling professional volleyball league in the United States, in 1977.
Smoleeva was one of the most talented players to step on the court for the Soviet Union. Representing the country in three consecutive Olympic Games, Smoleeva netted the Gold Medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and the 1972 Olympics in Munich. She also led her team to Olympic Silver in Montreal in 1976.
Among the other highlights from her more than 10 years of international competition are a Gold Medal from the 1970 World Championships, a Gold Medal at the 1973 World Cup and a Bronze Medal from the 1978 World Championships.
Smoleeva also took home the gold medal from the European Championships five times. At the European Championship Cup, Smoleeva led her nation to the Gold Medal six times.
Yamada dedicated his life to volleyball. A former Japanese coach and team leader, he helped the national team continue its international success from the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo through the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
He was the head coach of the Japan Women's National Volleyball Team, which won the silver medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. In 1974, his team won the women's world championship in Guadalajara, Mexico. It went on to win the Olympic gold medal in 1976 in Montreal. In 1977, his Women's National Team won the second Women's World Cup, in Japan. Yamada also guided the team to win Bronze Medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Yamada died April 6, 2002.
The Japan Volleyball Association will receive the Hall's "Court of Honor" award. The award honors organizations which have displayed a serious commitment to the promotion of the sport of volleyball.
The sport would not be the same without the influence of the JVA. Established in 1927, the JVA is one of the most respected volleyball organizations in the world. Today, the JVA boasts more than 40,000 active members playing volleyball on high school, collegiate, national and international teams.
The Induction Celebration continues with the 16-team Women's Collegiate Volleyball Hall of Fame Induction Tournament at Smith, Mount Holyoke, Springfield and Amherst Colleges on Friday night, Oct. 20 and Saturday Oct. 21. Admission is free of charge.
For more information on how to obtain tickets or to sponsor Induction Celebration events, contact the Volleyball Hall of Fame at (413) 536-0926, by e-mail at email@example.com or by visiting the website at www.volleyhall.org.
The events of the Induction Celebration are sponsored in part by: Spalding, the Holyoke Gas& Electric, the City of Holyoke, USA Volleyball, Peoples Bank, ASICS America, the Massachusetts Sports & Entertainment Commission, the Holyoke Medical Center, Weld Management, WSHM CBS-3, Clear Channel Radio, the CA Parent Group, Dowd Insurance, Masslive, the Valley Advocate and United Business Machines.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame, incorporated in 1978, is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to honoring the great men and women of the sport, and the promotion of