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09/07/2015 10:36
Norwegian evergreen Iver Andreas Horrem still enjoying the life of a beacher
News from the National Federations

Lohja, Finland, July 8, 2015. It was back in 1998 in Berlin, when he was only 21 years old, that Norway’s Iver Andreas Horrem started his international Beach Volleyball career. One year later Horrem played for the first time in the Main Draw of an FIVB event before the home crowd in Stavanger. He has now been around for 18 seasons and after finishing ninth at the FIVB Grand Slam in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago, he and partner Geir Eithun showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

“I still enjoy playing,” says the now 38-year old Horrem. “If this wasn’t the case, I would not continue and be around at this point. This is more of a lifestyle than a profession or a hobby,” he recounts.

Horrem started his international career under the guidance of one of Norway’s Beach Volleyball legends, Bjorn Maaseide. Together they qualified for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and there they were close to make it through the Round of 16. After Maaseide retired from competitive sport, Horrem found himself in a different role, playing as mentor rather than as mentee.

“I was very happy and lucky that Bjorn accepted to play with me, and he taught me a lot,” Horrem acknowledges.

Horrem has played as many as 175 events on the World Tour and participated in seven editions of the FIVB World Championships. He also helped Norway win the 2010-2012 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup thereby claiming a spot for his home country at the London 2012 Olympics but in the end this was taken by Martin Spinnangr and Tarjei Skarlund who were ranked higher than Horrem and Eithun at that point.

“It was not a disappointment, the main thing was that a Norwegian team got to play there since this really helps the development of Beach Volleyball in the long term,” Horrem says.

Horrem and Eithun have had a good season so far, making five times the Main Draw on the World Tour, finishing first at the Continental Cup tournament in Baden, Austria and collecting good results also at various NEVZA zonal events. This way they got the right boost of confidence and they hope they can make the Rio Olympics next year.

“I am quite sure that I will retire at the end of next summer,” Horrem says. “It would be nice to make the Olympics and end my career in front of my second home crowd,” he adds, recalling that he has been visiting and living in Brazil every year since 1999. “A major success at the Olympics is not so important but the fact that we still belong to the top players in the world is enough.”

Once he will retire from competitive sport, Horrem plans to stay in the Beach Volleyball ‘arena’. “In the future I want to help further develop and grow this game in my home country. I am for example hoping to cooperate in this with the Norwegian Volleyball Federation,” he concludes.

Many thanks to Heikki Kiiskinen for contributing to this story

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