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Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground & Capital Gymnasium, Beijing

According to the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), beach volleyball was first played in California as a bit of light relief during the Great Depression.

And, having watched my first slice of the ball-and-bikinis game on Thursday (a day that Manchester in February would be disappointed with), I can confirm beach volleyball has mood-enhancing qualities.

But volleyball's bosses are probably over-egging it to suggest the sport was born for any historical reason. I think people started playing beach volleyball because they could - which reminds me of that old joke about dogs and certain parts of their anatomy.

Quite simply, beach volleyball is fantastic. It's old-school indoor volleyball I'm not so sure about. But before I get to that, let's have some background.

Continue reading "Why gym doesn't fix it for volleyball"

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Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics blog, which we are launching as the countdown to the 2008 Games begins in earnest.

Wednesday marks exactly 100 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony (though oddly enough the football tournament starts two days earlier).

Writers from across BBC Sport, Radio 5Live, BBC London and BBC News will bring you the inside track on all 28 Olympic sports, as well as the Games themselves - which are set to be truly fascinating, if controversial, given China's hosting of them.

One of the uncertainties at the moment from a British perspective is whether the Games will turn out to be a triumph - or a failure. My view is...

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Keep reading this blog for all the latest about the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and also for the inside track on the long build-up to London 2012.

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