Sergey Tetyukhin talks in Moscow

The first ambassadors of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship in Russia were named at a press conference on December 16 with legends of the sport Sergey Tetyukhin and Ekaterina Gamova set to represent the event.

Two-time world champion Gamova and Olympic hero Tetyukhin are known and loved all around the world. And if someone says ‘Russian volleyball’, the person will definitely hear one of those names in response.

Ekaterina Gamova was a two-time winner of the World and European Championships and a one-time winner of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix as a part of the Russian national team. During her club career, she won the Russian and Turkish championships a total of 11 times, and was also a five-time winner of the Champions League and also victorious - once - at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championships. She also won countless personal awards and, after retiring from the sport in 2016 as a player, was appointed the manager of the Russian women's junior teams in 2017.

“It is a great honour for me to become an ambassador for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2022. It is something new for me, because not so long ago I won the World Championship as a player. Now I have been entrusted with such an important mission. First of all, I would like to say that I am proud of our country, which will host the first World Championship in its modern history. Secondly, I would like to note that this will be a unique World Championship with a vast geography of cities, and each of them has rich volleyball traditions. I am sure that the fans in every city will warmly welcome all the participants of the tournament”, said Ekaterina Gamova as she was presented with a World Championship Ambassador certificate.

Sergei Tetyukhin won two bronze, one silver and one gold medal at the Olympic Games. In total, he participated in six Olympics tournaments. During the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, he was the standard-bearer for the Russian team at the opening ceremony. Tetyukhin also won two FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cups, an edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League, was a vice-champion of the World Championship in 2002, a ten-time winner of the Russian championship and winner of the Russian Cup, and a four-time winner of the Champions League. He retired from his playing career in April 2018, and in 2019 was appointed general manager of the Russian national team.

On October 2021 Tetyukhin was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke (USA).

"I am firmly convinced of one thing," said Tetyukhin. "Next year we will see a real celebration of volleyball, our favorite ball game. I am proud that the World Championship will be held in Russia, and I know that our country is capable of hosting this huge tournament at the highest level. This year preparations for the World Championship are going on very actively in Russia. I had a chance to take part in a number of events, and I especially remember the receiving the World Championship trophy in Lausanne and master classes in schools. I believe that sharing volleyball knowledge with children is the most important and responsible mission for tournaments like this one. The more children get involved in the sport after the World Championship, the better. This means that we are moving in the right direction to popularize an excellent team game that the whole world plays - in halls, on sand, in parks and even on snow.”