The Class of 2012 hails from four countries representing the elite players and leaders within the sport. The newest induction class consists of men’s indoor players Peter Blangé of The Netherlands, Mauricio Lima of Brazil, Georgy Mondzolevskiy of Russia and Jeff Stork of the United Sates; men’s beach player Mike Dodd of the United States; and women’s indoor player Lyudmila Buldakova of Russia, who passed away in 2006.
Blangé, recognized as the first remarkable big setter in the modern era at nearly 206 centimeters, helped The Netherlands to the 1996 Olympic Games gold medal. Buldakova, a force as both an attacker and setter, helped the Soviet Union win consecutive Olympic Games gold medals in 1968 and 1972 as its captain after earning the silver medal in the inaugural Olympics in 1964. Dodd earned the silver medal with Mike Whitmarsh at the inaugural Olympic Games for Beach Volleyball in 1996 as he compiled a career with 75 titles and 231 podium finishes on the U.S. domestic and FIVB beach tours.
Lima, a magician in making hittable balls out of bad passes, is one of two male Volleyball athletes to compete in five Olympic Games including reaching the gold-medal podium twice with Brazil in 1992 and 2004. Mondzolevskiy, who was a member of the powerful Soviet Union teams of the 1950s and 1960s, earned gold medals in the first two Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968, as well as gold medals in the 1960 and 1962 FIVB Volleyball World Championships. Stork, recognized as one of the game’s greatest setters, played in three Olympic Games that included the 1988 gold medal as part of winning the Triple Crown with titles at the 1985 FIVB Volleyball World Cup and 1986 FIVB Volleyball World Championship.
“The six legends enshrined tonight represent a sampling of some of the best players to have ever stepped foot on a Volleyball court,” Volleyball Hall of Fame Executive Director George Mulry said. “The six inductees and three award winners have made a unique lasting mark on the sport and we are honored to have them memorialized here in Holyoke as part of the Volleyball Hall of Fame”.
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