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Regla Torres flies the flag high for women’s volleyball
Poland’s spectacular opening ceremony may have celebrated the best of men’s volleyball, but the host country of the FIVB Men’s World Championship also ensured that women’s volleyball was given due recognition.
Regla Torres, Cuba’s legendary player turned coach, was warmly received at the opening ceremony in Warsaw by the hosts and FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° where she flew the flag high for women’s volleyball, her country as well as NORCECA.
Torres’ presence lent a special touch to the opening of the Championship that broke attendance records and paved the way for a new era in volleyball with its technological progress and innovation. After all Torres knows from personal experience what it is to break new grounds in the sport of volleyball.
At the age of 17, Torres made Olympic history as the youngest player to win Olympic gold, following Cuba’s win at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
A year later, she played at the Junior World Championships in Brazil, where she won the MVP and Best Spiker awards. Then at the 1994 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship held in Brazil, Torres was recognised as the Best Blocker of the tournament where Cuba won the gold medal.
When she retired, aged 30, she has also added Olympic gold medal wins with the Cuba national team in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000).
She was later recognised by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as the one of the Most Outstanding Players of the Twentieth Century along with her teammate Mireya Luis, who is also one of the top representatives and historical references of volleyball in the North, Central American and Caribbean region and all over Latin America.
Taking her career one step further, Torres is now a coach and an analyst and commentator at international competitions.
Nearly 40% of parents of girls report their daughters being inspired to take up a sport after watching professionals in action.