Born: February 13, 1962 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Category: Female Beach Player
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 9. Silva was playing in international competitions less than five years later.
At 18, Silva put her name in the record books by finishing seventh with the first Brazilian Olympic women's volleyball team in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, and again at the 1984 Olympic Games, in Los Angeles, Calif.
The consecutive seventh-place results ignited her passion for beach volleyball. She 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.
Silvia used her world title as momentum for the 1987 Women's Professional Volleyball Association tour, where she made her tour debut. Silva, named the WPVA Best Setter in 1992, was ranked first on the 1989 and 1990 tours.
She continued racking up wins on the 1993 Association of Volleyball Professionals tour. Silva was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 1994 tour.
In 1995, Silva won the Federation Internationale de Volleyball tour championships with partner Sandra Pires. Her win at the tour championships made the Olympic Games the only major international event she had not won in her indoor or beach career.
But Silva completed her resume, and put her name into the record books again, by capturing the inaugural women's beach volleyball gold medal at 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.
Although Silva has dedicated most of her life to volleyball, she is also an accomplished philanthropist. The Jackie Silva Institute runs an anti-drug abuse sports project that serves approximately 4,000 Brazilian children in 30 different communities.
The institute also collects tennis shoes for impoverished Brazilian children. Although more than 200 pairs have been donated since the program started, Silva has personally delivered each pair to a child in her country.