Warsaw, Poland, June 14, 2019 – It has been a very successful tournament for both Carolina Solberg Salgado and Pedro Solberg so far in Warsaw, where a four-star event on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is taking place this week. It is the last big competition before the FIVB World Championship in Hamburg, where both Brazilian siblings will participate, betting on the positive energy and family support they bring to each other.
Carol, in partnership with Maria Antonelli, won both her pool matches to advance directly to the round of 16. Pedro Solberg & Vitor Goncalves Felipe have only played one pool match so far and also emerged victorious.
“I have just won a really important game, and Pedro was there watching. I feel very lucky to share such intense moments with my family,” 31-year-old Carol told fivb.com immediately after her last victory, over current World Ranking leaders Heather Bansley & Brandie Wilkerson of Canada.
Maria Antonelli & Carol in action on Warsaw sand
“For me, it’s so special to have Pedro,” Carol continued. “I played with my sister Maria Clara for 13 years and our mom was our coach, so the four of us were together on the Tour. When you are young, it’s a very difficult life to travel and to lose... There are so many difficult things and it was so special that we could support each other. I had the privilege to see Pedro’s first wins and I will never forget that. When I saw him winning his first U18 world title, I was like ‘Wow! My brother won the World Championship!’ It was very emotional. When he became a professional, I saw his first win in China, together with my sister and my mother. I can never forget that moment!”
“It’s so good that we have each other here, on Tour,” 33-year-old Pedro agreed. “It’s been so many years... We’ve helped each other in the tough moments and we’ve been together in the happiest moments of our careers. I am so happy to have this opportunity to be with my family here. I have just watched Carol’s game. She is always there when she can. It’s amazing that we have each other. This is a privilege, because sometimes you stay away from home for too long and it’s great to have someone so important for you here in difficult moments. I know I have her and she knows she has me.”
Pedro Solberg receives the ball in his team’s first game at Warsaw
The World Championship in Hamburg will be the seventh one in Pedro’s career and the sixth one for Carol. Each of them has reached the fifth place twice, but, interestingly, the only medal they ever got, Pedro’s bronze in 2015, came when Carol was not there.
“She was probably not watching my game, when I lost at other World Championships, and she was definitely watching on TV, when I won the bronze,” Pedro was quick to dismiss any possible speculations with a smile. “I won so many times with Carol there. I feel very lucky when my family are watching me, and I really believe that they bring me luck. I’m sure I’ve just brought luck to Carol in her match. We bring good energy to each other. At the same time, we try not to interfere with each other’s work. The help we give each other is mostly psychological. It is rarely technical, because we are focused on our own tournaments and we don’t always have the opportunity to watch the whole match, plus, we have coaches and partners for that.”
Although Poland and Germany are neighbouring countries, Carol and Pedro will not travel directly from Warsaw to Hamburg. They will rejoin their big family back in Brazil in between to recharge on that good luck they believe it brings them.
“We’ll try to get healthy, do our therapies and make sure our bodies are in good shape for the World Championship. We’ll spend time with the family to get energy as well,” Carol explained.
“Although we have each other on the Tour, every time we have a break, even if it is for just five days, we try to go home and spend it with the rest of our family. It’s great to go home, eat our food, sleep in our own beds...,” 2016 Olympian Pedro confirmed.
In fact, when they were back at home before travelling to Warsaw, their grandmother passed away and her funeral was on the same day as their departure, but even in these sad circumstances, Carol saw a little bit of that family luck playing its role.
“It was a tough moment for us, but it was nice that in that moment we were all together as a family,” she said. “Luckily, we were there when it happened, so we can be with my mom.”
Of course, they both realize that it’s not only about luck. Winning in beach volleyball requires good skills and good implementation on the court.
“My partner was shining! She served so well in both games and that made a big difference,” is how Carol explained her team’s success at Warsaw so far.
“We played really well, our side-out was very consistent and this was key,” Pedro commented on his win. “But we know we have a lot of work on our blocking and defence. There are a lot of things we need to improve. It’s an important tournament for Vito and me. We haven’t made the semifinals yet, but I am really confident that things are going to happen for us here.”
How far these Brazilian siblings will go in Warsaw and, then, at the World Championship starting in Hamburg on June 28, remains to be seen, but they will continue to rely on each other’s support.
“We are so excited for the World Championship. It is an important tournament, especially when it is part of the race to the Olympics and counts for more points,” Pedro pointed out.
“I love to play at the World Championships,” Carol concluded. “It’s a big and exciting tournament. It happens once every two years. The last one in Vienna was one of the most beautiful ones for me. I hope both Pedro and I can have a great tournament in Hamburg.”