Born: April 10, 1921 in Hlukhiv Raion, Ukraine
Died: September 1, 1997 in Moscow, Russia
Category: Male Indoor Player
Konstantin Reva was a member of the powerful USSR volleyball squads that dominated men’s international volleyball in the late 1940’s and early 1950s. Born in the Ukraine, he moved to Moscow with his parents in 1930. He began playing sports in school at the age of 14, and quickly became a success, first in track and field and soccer and then in volleyball. Finishing school in 1940, Reva was called up for military service. While a soldier, he began playing for the Central Sport Club of the Army, and his team won seven national championships. In 1947, Reva was named Honored Master of Sport, one of his country’s highest honors for athletes.
In this pre-Olympic era the World Championships were volleyball’s biggest event. Again, Reva’s team stood out among all the rest. The USSR went undefeated as it won two European championships in 1950 and 1951, and the first two World Championships in Prague in 1949 and in Moscow in 1952. In 1956 the USSR took the bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris.
An outstanding blocker, Reva was also an exceptional all-around player. When his playing career was over, however, he became a club coach and a lecturer in physical training at the Military Academy. He was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and the Order of the Red Star.
Reva was just as versatile off the court and became a admired public figure, promoting volleyball wherever he could. In 2001 the Federation Internationale de Volleyball marked his achievements by presenting him with a Special Twentieth Century Award for his unique performance and contribution to the world wide success of his team and the popularity of volleyball. Konstantin Reva died in 1997 and is buried in Moscow. We honor him today for his multi-talented career and the joy of competition he brought to the international sport of volleyball.