2018-07-04 11:00:00 CEST
The Brazilian first played in the Alps in 2008 and is looking forward to celebrating his 10-year anniversary next week
A World Tour veteran of 15 seasons, Alison Cerutti has already played beach volleyball internationally in 41 different locations around the globe. However, every year when the summer comes, the Brazilian Olympic champion knows one thing for sure – it’s time to be back at Gstaad!
Next week, the ‘Mammoth’ will take the road up to the mountains again for the 2018 edition of the Swatch Major Gstaad, between July 10-15, but this time the tournament will have an even more special meaning for the 32-year-old blocker as it will mark the 10th-anniversary of his first time competing in the glamourous Swiss Alps.
In 2008, Alison was a young rising star on the Tour and an unexpected invitation from the legendary Emanuel Rego, the reigning Olympic champion himself at the time and his future partner, granted him the opportunity to experience the tournament that has been picked by many as the most incredible of the Tour for a while.
“Gstaad is always amazing,” Alison tells us. “It was a fantastic experience there in 2008 as we were not regular partners at the time, Ricardo was injured and was just filling in for him, but we finished third. I had great feelings in that tournament and I think it summarizes pretty well all my experiences there.”
Playing in the Swiss Alps has indeed been a joy for the Brazilian. Since 2008, Alison has never missed a single event in Gstaad, making the alpine town his most frequent destination on the Tour.
The ‘Mammoth’ has been quite successful there, too, winning two golds, two silvers and a bronze medal with three different partners – Emanuel, Bruno Schmidt and Harley Marques – in 10 events. The last one came in 2015, when Bruno and him topped the podium in the first Major in the Mountains.
But for the Brazilian, who will be playing with world champion Andre Loyola this season, playing in Gstaad is not just about getting results. The entire atmosphere that wraps the event in the 10,000-people town in the Swiss Alps, which has been part of the Tour since 2000, is what really makes it a really special stop within the Beach Major Series.
“When you’re there, it’s like a fairy tale, it looks like you are playing in a miniature city,” he added. “In the 10 years I’ve been playing there, the town has developed a lot. The weather is crazy as it changes so frequently, but it’s always an incredible week there. To get to play in between the mountains in that outstanding atmosphere always makes me very ecstatic.”
Another of Gstaad’s peculiarities is its height. With the town nestled in the Alps, the courts stand nearly 1,000 meters above the sea level, the effects of the altitude can be easily felt by the players who are moving around and jumping in a sand surface.
However, for the Brazilian, a couple of training sessions are more than enough to get the players had to showcase their best skills in the magnificent scenario.
“It changes a little bit, but it’s not a big deal,” admits Alison. “The ball floats a little more than usual on serves and it’s a little bit harder to breathe between rallies. But if you get to train there for one day before the tournament you’ll get used to it, it’s not really a problem.”
Happy anniversary and see you in Gstaad, Alison!