Alison Cerutti is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Brazil.

Brazil's Alison Cerutti makes his Olympic debut in London, and does so with the legendary Emanuel Rego. At 26, Alison is 13 years younger than his partner, but they are the reigning world champions and No. 1 men's seed for the 2012 Games. While Alison has no Olympic experience, Emanuel has more than any other male in the game; in London, he is the first man to compete in each of the five Olympic beach volleyball tournaments. He won gold in 2004 and bronze in 2008.

Emanuel's status afforded him to seemingly choose any Brazilian partner he wanted when he went looking after the 2009 season. But the reason for his split from Ricardo Santos was because Emanuel wanted to be with his family in Rio de Janeiro, and thus, train with someone in Rio. It just so happened that the up-and-coming Alison already lived in town. He ended the 2009 season No. 2 in the world with Harley Marques, but Alison jumped at the chance to join a legend. The new pair didn't win any titles in 2010, but Alison and Emanuel still finished the year ranked second overall. They then broke through in 2011 with five FIVB titles, including gold at the 2011 World Championships. They also won the World Tour season title, Alison's first and Emanuel's 10th. The duo won two gold medals in the eight events it played in 2012 leading up to the Olympics.

The world title in 2011 was Emanuel's third and came after Alison placed second at the 2009 Worlds with Harley. Alison was named MVP for the 2011 tournament, an honor his partner wholeheartedly supported. "I need to thank this big mammoth beside me because he brought me alive again to play," Emanuel said in the post-match press conference. "It's not easy to be in the world (tour) for almost 18 years. So I give him all the energy that I (had) because he did a great job and he put me in the top again." Emanuel thought the loss in the 2009 final helped Alison grow. "I think that was a good point for him because in the two years after that final, he grew as a man, as a player and now as a mammoth as well. Because he has so much power and he start to understand beach volleyball, understand what times you need to push, what times you need to hold." When asked what he has learned from Emanuel, Alison said through Emanuel's translation, "To be more calmed down on the court, to be more professional."

Emanuel talks about Alison as a mammoth because that's the nickname Alison's friends gave him. "When I was 18, a beach volleyball friend said, 'You're walking like a very heavy guy, you're like a mammoth,'" Alison says. "At the same time was that movie 'Ice Age.' They compared me to that movie, the kid's movie, the woolly mammoth." In December 2010, Alison got a large tattoo of a mammoth on his right side. The session lasted six hours.

Another nickname used for Alison is the Brazilian Beast, seemingly in comparison to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser, The Thin Beast who became The Beijing Beast at the 2008 Games. Says Alison, "If someone calls me the Brazilian Beast, I'm okay. I like it because my style is like this." His playing style only, though. Off the court, he is kind and jovial. And he can be caring on the court as well. His powerful spikes sometimes come too quick for opponents to react, and in one match at the 2011 Worlds, he hit a ball off the back defender's face, then rushed under the net to make sure his opponent was okay.

Alison has also been compared to Fabio Magalhaes, who is known as Jaws, the Brazilian blocker that won silver with Marcio Araujo at the 2008 Olympics. Alison is the same height (6-foot-8), but about 15 pounds heavier. Because they both also come from Vitoria, many people thought the two were brothers. Alison was flattered by the comparisons early in his career, but now thinks he has established his own identity.

Emanuel first noticed Alison's potential back in 2008, when he asked the then-23-year-old to play with him at the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam while his regular partner, Ricardo, was injured. At that point, Alison had played in only one previous FIVB main draw, but he and Emanuel took the bronze medal. Ricardo was back for the next tournament, so Alison resumed play with Bernardo Romano, and that pair only made one World Tour main draw that season. Alison finished 2008 with Pedro Cunha (who now teams with Ricardo), taking fifth and first, as they won a late-season tournament in Manama, Bahrain.

Alison's first appearance on the FIVB World Tour was in 2006 in two tournaments with Harley, and he played three events in 2007 with Bernardo. Alison's first full season was nine FIVB tournaments in 2008. He rejoined the veteran Harley in 2009, and they earned eight medals in 13 World Tour events, ending the year ranked second in the world. Alison and Emanuel finished 2010 No. 2 in the world after six medals in 11 events, but were No. 1 in 2011 with eight medals in 11 events. Alison was named the FIVB's Best Offensive Player, Best Hitter and Best Blocker in 2011.

Alison began playing volleyball at school in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim when he was 10 years old. Later that year he moved to Vitoria, and began to take the sport more seriously at his new school. Four years later he switched over to beach volleyball.


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

Age: 31 years old
Birthday: December 7, 1985
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 234 lbs.
Birthplace: Cachoeira de Itapemirim, Brazil
Hometown: Vitoria, Brazil
Current Residence: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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