Brazil Defends Women’s Volleyball Title at the London Games

London Olympics 2012

It’s a re-pe-pe-pe-peat for Brazil’s women’s volleyball team the 2012 Olympic Games

The defending Olympic champions came back from one set down to beat the United States on Saturday and claim the gold medal at the London Games, resulting in a carnival-like atmosphere at Earls Court.

Brazil's Women's Volleyball Team

Jaqueline Carvalho had 18 points to help Brazil overcome that disastrous first set and win 11-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17.

Las brasileñas celebrated by doing cartwheels on the court before dancing onto the podium singing “the champions are back” to go into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with home field advantage and the title of two-time defending champions.

“That’s what Brazil is all about, about joy and smiling,” said captain Fabiana Claudino, who scored 14 points in the win. “And that’s how we play.”

Brazil's Women's Volleyball Team

Fabiana certainly led by example as she helped settle her teammates’ nerves after starting off with a shaky first set.

“I just told the girls to relax after the first set, to focus on what we do well, which is to spike well, attack well, defend well, all the things that got us here,” said Fabiana.

After leveling the match, Brazil seemed to pass on those early nerves to the American team.

Brazil's Women's Volleyball Team

“There was a lot of anxiety in the first set. We didn’t think about what we did four years ago, we just spoke between ourselves, we are going to do it,” said Sheilla Castro. “To tell you the truth, it was like their faces were staring into nowhere. We put pressure on them and they felt it.”

Brazil started to pull away in the fourth set, as they fed off the roaring crowd of 15,000 fans to prevent the U.S. from breaking into the gold medal club. Only Brazil, China, Japan, Cuba and Russia have won women’s volleyball gold.

Brazil's Women's Volleyball Team

Brazil became the third team to repeat as gold medalists. The Soviet Union won in 1968 and 1972, while Cuba won three straight starting with the 1992 Barcelona Games. Brazil also won bronze in 1996 and 2000.

“This was such an important victory for Brazil with the Olympics in our home next,” said Carvalho.