Former Mexican player Blanca Garcia, accompanied by FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° (right) and FIVB 1st Executive Vice President Cristobal Marte Hoffiz
Milan, Italy, October 12, 2014 - It was forty years ago when Mexico hosted the FIVB Men’s and Women’s World Championships in several cities, from the borders of Baja California to the center of the country.
Poland conquered the men’s crown, while Japan claimed gold in the women’s competition. It happened in 1974. That was a very special year in sports and culture. The “New Latin American Trova”, a musical movement inspired in social changes was still very popular with authors and singers like Cuba’s Pablo Milanes, just to mention one of them.
Just six years earlier, the Mexican capital had hosted the 1968 Olympic Games. At that same time, many youngsters dreamed about their chances of representing their country on the greatest stage. Among them there was a beautiful, athletic lady who captured the attention of the press and their foreign colleagues.
Her name was Blanca Garcia, a 1.85m tall girl with outstanding strength and technique. She was part of a group of players detected and prepared as part of Mexico's Olympic Project.
Just four years after hosting the FIFA Football World Cup in 1970, Mexico was prepared for another big sports challenge: two World Volleyball Championships with a wonderful opening ceremony at the National Auditorium in Mexico City.
These are just a few memories that come to every volleyball lover’s mind when talking about Garcia, and the members of the 1968 Olympic team and the 1974 World Championship squad.
She has been considered as the greatest female volleyball player in Mexico and one of the best in the NORCECA Volleyball Confederation.
Just like 40 years ago, “Doña Blanca” visited the World Championship stage in Milan, now as a special guest of the FIVB Volleyball World Championship Italy 2014 finals in the Italian city, where she enjoyed reliving wonderful memories from her playing years, along with FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F and FIVB 1st Executive Vice President Cristobal Marte Hoffiz.
The Mexican legend, who received a special tribute along with some other members of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic teams in 2013 during the VIII Men’s Pan American Cup in Mexico City, was also able to follow the Mexican team during their participation in the Women’s World Championship.
Blanca Garcia's daughter Marion Frias was part of the national team roster that qualified to the Championship and also played at the FIVB World Grand Prix this year for the first time ever. It was a special moment for her four decades after playing a global competition in her native country.
In 1974, the Mexican volleyball teams finished in 10th place in both genders, achieving one of their best performances ever. Blanca Garcia also played at the 1978 World Championships held in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg, Russia) in the former Soviet Union, when Mexico finished 15th and the crown was claimed by Cuba.
No matter how many years go by, “Doña Blanca's” eyes are always bright when she gets close to a volleyball court.