Warsaw, Poland, August 30, 2014 – The watching world were treated to a distinctly Polish celebration as a world record 62,000 people attended the opening ceremony and opening match of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Saturday. • The Opening match and ceremony marks the start of the 18th edition of the FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship, a quadrennial international tournament.
• Poland are hosting the World Championship for the first time, 40 years after winning their only World Championship title (1974).
• A world record of 62,000 spectators attended the event, which also saw the presence of Polish President Bronislaw Kmorowski.
• The previous highest was 50,000 at the 1952 World Championships.
• With the opening match of the tournament held in Warsaw, the action moves to six other hosts cities Wrocław, Katowice, Gdańsk, Kraków, Łódź and Bydgoszcz. Final is in Katowice on September 21.
It was a night to remember as young performers from across the country took to the stage including Poland’s Eurovision song contest entrant Donatan Cleo during an hour long ceremony before Poland beat Serbia 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-18) in front of a frenzied home crowd.
Speaking at a media round-table in the Polish capital, President Graça outlined the latest innovations the FIVB has been developing and implementing since 2013 before reflecting on a memorable night for volleyball and for sport as a whole. Since his election in September 2012, President Graça is ensuring that the Federation is constantly researching and embracing the very latest sports industry technology to expand the boundaries of sports entertainment and provide a true spectacle for all fans, which was there for all to see during Saturday’s spectacle.
“Today has been an immense celebration of volleyball with the Men’s World Championship Opening Ceremony - an FIVB signature event which truly reflected our vision for the future of our sport.
“Tonight’s celebrations in the National Stadium in Warsaw have set the new benchmark for volleyball events. We have entered a new era of sport entertainment and innovation never reached before.
“Poland, as a host nation, and the Polish Volleyball Federation have been the greatest partners for the FIVB during all the preparations. We have felt the true passion for volleyball which exists in this country- volleyland.
“Everyone present tonight felt the festive atmosphere as they joined in with a rousing rendition of "Start a Fire", the official song of the Men’s World Championship. Fans in the stadium really made the most of all activities available on site and their engagement and enthusiasm has helped to create a memorable ambiance.
“Tonight has given the world a taste of what volleyball and beach volleyball will be at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
Poland Federation President Miroslav Przedpelski “thanked the world for coming to Warsaw” as he addressed the crowd before the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski officially opened the World Championships.
The opening ceremony launched the 18th edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Championship. World No. 1 Brazil and three times defending champions will begin their bid for a fourth consecutive World Championship title when they take on Germany on Monday in Katowice.