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Greta Cicolari is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Italy.

In just her third full season of beach volleyball, Italy's Greta Cicolari makes her Olympic debut in London with another Olympic rookie, Marta Menegatti. The two began playing together in 2009, when both women made their first FIVB World Tour appearances. Cicolari and Menegatti look to win the first Italian medal in Olympic beach volleyball history, and would even record the best Italian finish ever at the Olympics in the sport if they were to place fourth. Italian women finished fifth at the 2000 and 2004 Games.

In 2009, Cicolari and Menegatti competed in four European challenger events before taking part in the last three events on that summer's World Tour. The pair showed some promise, so it played the entire 2010 season on the World Tour, recording middling results and finishing 23rd in the world rankings. But Cicolari and Menegatti improved dramatically in 2011, making five semifinal appearances in 13 World Tour events, winning a silver and two bronzes, and finishing sixth in the world rankings. At the 2011 World Championships in Rome, they were the clear fan favorites and played impressively, winning their first four matches in straight sets before falling to eventual bronze medalists Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in the round of 16. In August 2011, Cicolari and Menegatti won the European Championships, their first title together. In seven events leading up to London, the pair won three medals (one silver, two bronze).

Cicolari was playing indoor volleyball at the beginning of 2009 when a new coach with the Italian beach volleyball program, a Brazilian named Lissandro, suggested she switch to the beach. She initially said she'd try it for a few months, but he urged her to make a decision soon so she would have enough time to try to qualify for the Olympics. Cicolari was 26 years old at the time, and Lissandro thought she'd work well with an 18-year-old up-and-comer — Menegatti. Cicolari and Menegatti had never previously seen each other, but the partnership has worked. They now train in Ancona, which is about 200 miles south of Venice on Italy's east coast. Both Cicolari and Menegatti also serve in the Italian Air Force and competed in the 2011 Military World Games in Rio de Janeiro.

When asked why they work well together, Cicolari says, "I think because we are not of the same age, and so there is the respect of the other people. And no one of us want to become more than the other. I have the right experience, she's very young but she's got talent." Although the 21-year-old Menegatti is one of the youngest players on the World Tour, the 29-year-old Cicolari is not shocked by her success. "I'm not surprised because when she was 18 she was like this. She has very good mind and she has room to improve because she's very young, but I'm not surprised about her," Cicolari says.

Cicolari speaks Italian, English and French fluently, and would like to become a translator once her volleyball career is over. She has used English often on many trips to the U.S., particularly New York and Miami, and she learned a lot from watching American movies and TV shows. One day, Cicolari would like to live in New York City. She has also learned English and French from her boyfriend, who is from Belgium but speaks English and French fluently. Cicolari also studied German in school, and she can understand Spanish and Portuguese, but she says she doesn't speak those languages very well because she doesn't use them often.


How tall is Greta Cicolari? How old is Greta Cicolari? Where does Greta Cicolari live? Find out here.

Age: 34 years old
Birthday: August 23, 1982
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 143 lbs.
Birthplace: Bergamo, Italy
Current Residence: Ancona, Italy

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