2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship gold medallist and York Lion alumna Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada talked about different aspects of beach volleyball and answered questions from fans in three Facebook Live sessions in May and June.
Gettinginto beach volleyball and her biggest influenceHumana-Paredes began playing beach volleyball first, before learning to play the six-a-side game. Her father Hernan, who coached John Child and Mark Heese to Olympic bronze at Atlanta 1996, inspired her to get into the sport.
“I actually started playing beach volleyball before I started playing indoor volleyball, which is not the norm and an unorthodox way of getting started in the sport, but a lot of that was an influence from my dad who played for the Chilean national team.
“When he came to Canada he started coaching beach volleyball and his team went to the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and they won a bronze medal there. I was four years old when my dad coached this team to a bronze medal at the Olympics.
“At a very young age, beach volleyball, the Olympic journey and the Olympic dream were influencing my life. That’s how I got started and that’s what sparked my journey in the game.”