A for Athlete


  • Volleyball player from Brazil (also known as BRA) Flag of Brazil.svg and injured at top of game in 2008 before the 2008 Olympics.


Knee injury could keep Brazilian beach volleyballer Juliana from Olympics

July 7, 2008, 7:19 PM ET

One of the world's best beach volleyball players is in danger of missing the Olympics because of a knee injury.

Juliana, one-half of the top women's beach volleyball team from powerhouse Brazil and the third-ranked team in the world, injured her right knee and will not play again before the Olympics, her press agent, Marcio, said Monday. Although surgery on her cruciate ligament was recommended, she will continue with more conservative treatment instead in the hopes of being able to play in Beijing.

"We don't know if she will go to the Olympic Games. She told us she would be able to go," Marcio said, adding that the decision must be made by July 20. "She makes all of the movements in her knee. She can run on the sand. She jumps. But she needs physical therapy about three, four times a day."

The 24-year-old athlete was injured at the Grand Slam event in Paris last month, according to the Web site of volleyball's international governing body, the FIVB. Dr. Carlos Moura, of the national governing body, said Juliana would receive physical therapy and continue to strengthen the muscles in her legs to compensate for the knee's instability.

"I believe there are great chances of it working well and we will do all we can in order for it to happen," he was quoted as saying on www.fivb.com.

Juliana and her teammate, Larissa, clinched a berth in Beijing at the Berlin Grand Slam event on June 14, but she was injured the next week in Paris. If she cannot compete in Beijing, the national governing body can propose a replacement who has played in the required eight international tournaments over the past two seasons.

Juliana remained hopeful.

"I am very optimistic, hopeful and confident in what I am going to achieve," she said on the Web site.

Brazil is stacked with volleyball talent, with three teams in the top eight for Olympic qualifying and five in the top 16. No country can place more than two teams to the 24-team men's and women's fields, meaning otherwise talented Brazilian teams will be eliminated because of the country quota.

Marcio said Larissa continues to train by herself.

"She will wait for Juliana," he said.