Yuri Chesnokov, who passed away on 29 May at the age of 77, devoted nearly 60 years of his life to Volleyball. With the USSR between 1960 and 1964 he won two World Championships and the first Olympic Volleyball tournament. As coach of CSKA Moscow he won 10 Soviet titles and five Championship Cups, and then he won two European titles, Olympic silver and bronze plus World Championship silver as USSR coach from 1970 to 1976. After that he was elected as an FIVB Vice-President, a post he held until standing down in 2008 during which time he became a regular member of the FIVB Board of Administration and served as President of the Rules of the Game, Sports Organising and Coaching Commissions.
“He was a pillar of the FIVB, who made an enormous contribution to international Volleyball,” FIVB President Mr Jizhong Wei said. “He had a tremendous work ethic and touched many lives within the international Volleyball community.” During the 2004 Olympic Games, when he was the FIVB Olympic Games Event Director, Yuri Chesnokov re" ected on the changes in his sport, 40 years on from his gold-medal winning exploits: “In those days I was the main spiker and blocker yet I was only 1.91m. It is a sign of the times that we now see so many players over 2m tall. Over the years Volleyball has undergone a complete revolution and right now Volleyball is a wonderful spectacle.”