After more than 20 years of refereeing internationally, Brazil’s Elzir Oliveira retired after the conclusion of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Toronto.
Oliveira was a member of the first FIVB refereeing class in 1996, since then he has officiated 4,780 international matches, including three Olympics and nine World Championships. He officiated at this past Olympics in Rio, his birthplace, making it a special occasion for him. His last match at the Rio Olympics was the men’s bronze medal match.
The last match Oliveira officiated in his career was the women’s gold medal match at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, where Germans Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst paired their Olympic gold with a World Tour title.. After the match, Oliveira was recognized by the FIVB organization, where he was met with a standing ovation from the crowd and an autographed volleyball from FIVB BVB Refereeing Commissioner Jose Casanova.
“When I saw the crowd clapping, I got very emotional. It was difficult not to cry, “Oliveira said.
Oliveira is one of three major names who have announced that this year’s World Tour Finals will have been the last of their careers – Switzerland’s Nadine Zumkehr and Canada’s Josh Binstock.
Thanks to referee Elzir Oliveira ???? 21 great seasons, 4,780 officiated matches – incredible! #farewell #torontofinals pic.twitter.com/jzViPWJt8V
— Swatch Major Series (@SwatchMajors) September 18, 2016