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Last night Rio gave the Italian beach volleyball, a historic medal, the first Olympic won by the Italian team since 20 years ago, when this discipline was introduced to the games (Atlanta 1996). Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo were the stars of this beautiful page of the Italian sport history who were able to win the silver medal, the 24th for the Italian Team in Rio 2016, after a final against the Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt - masters of the house at the Arena Copacabana - and against the odds (in the previous 8 events, the Brazilian team won 5 times).
The two Italians, however, were not intimidated either by opponents, among the strongest in the world scene with nine victories in the World Tour and the success in the World Championships played last year in the Netherlands, nor by the public, deployed (inevitably) in favour of their players and eager to win the most coveted medal, probably second only to that which seeks the Seleçao in football.
The two athletes of Matteo Varnier, however, have played the most important game of their career point by point, until the end of a match staged in the pouring rain. Against the 'Mammoth' (Alison's nickname) and Bruno Schmidt, the nephew of the Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt, they have not suffered from awe. In the end they succumbed 2-0 (21-19, 21-17). The score, however, does not diminish a challenge written on the wet sand of Copacabana, but that will remain indelible in the history of Italian sport."

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