Ricardo Santos is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Brazil.

Making his fourth consecutive Olympic appearance in London, Brazil's Ricardo Santos seeks his fourth Olympic medal. He claimed silver with Ze Marco Melo at the 2000 Sydney Games, giving Brazil its first Olympic medal in men's beach volleyball. Four years later in Athens, Ricardo and Emanuel Rego won Brazil's first men's beach volleyball Olympic gold medal. "This medal is dedicated to the Brazilians," Ricardo said after the match. "The only thing I can say is that Brazil has the best beach volleyball players in the world." At the 2008 Beijing Games, Ricardo completed his Olympic trifecta by collecting the bronze medal with Emanuel, making Ricardo the first beach volleyball player to win three Olympic medals. In London, Ricardo will be teamed with Olympic rookie Pedro Cunha.
Ricardo Santos (right) and Pedro Cunha of Brazil celebrate a pointFIVB

Ricardo and Pedro have been partners for only a year, and barely met the requirement of competing in 12 FIVB events during the Olympic qualification period from Jan. 1, 2011 to June 17, 2012. Their 12th event together was the Rome Grand Slam, the final qualifying tournament. But in those 12 events, Ricardo and Pedro won a medal six times — four gold and two bronze. Their partnership almost never came to be. Ricardo started the 2011 season with 2008 Olympic silver medalist Marcio Araujo, but decided in July to play with Pedro Salgado. Yet before they could even enter a tournament, Salgado was suspended by the FIVB for a positive drug test. That led Ricardo to take Pedro Cunha, who began the 2011 season as Salgado's partner. Salgado was eventually cleared of all doping charges, but never got his chance with Ricardo because Ricardo and Cunha had already earned a significant number of Olympic qualifying points.

After winning a men's FIVB-record 34 titles over seven years and 88 World Tour events together, Ricardo and Emanuel ended their partnership in August 2009. They won the 2003 world title and 2004 Olympic title, were the FIVB World Tour champions from 2003-2007, and were named FIVB Team of the Year from 2005-2007. Though quite a few teams played more tournaments together, no men's duo earned more money than Ricardo and Emanuel, who collected $1,856,530 in FIVB winnings during their partnership. Their split was amicable, as Emanuel simply wanted to move to Rio de Janeiro to spend more time with his family, and Ricardo wanted to stay with his family in Joao Pessoa, which had been the pair's training base. "We think we could play more (together)," Emanuel says. Ricardo was named FIVB Best Hitter in 2005; FIVB Best Offensive Player in '05, '06 and '07; and FIVB Most Outstanding in '05 and '07.

Right before splitting from Marcio, Ricardo won the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships, losing to Emanuel and Alison Cerutti in the final. Ricardo also won silver at the 2001 Worlds with Jose Loiola, and won his only world title in 2003 with Emanuel. At the 2005 Worlds, Ricardo and Emanuel were the top seed but placed 17th, worst among the four Brazilian teams. They were again the top seed in 2007, when they advanced to the semifinals but fell to Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the U.S., then lost their bronze-medal match to Andrew Schacht and Josh Slack of Australia. Ricardo and Emanuel were seeded fifth at the 2009 Worlds, and placed fifth after being eliminated by eventual champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany in the quarterfinals.

Prior to Emanuel, Ricardo teamed with two of Brazil's best players. He split with Ze Marco at the end of 2000, ending a two-year partnership that resulted in 11 FIVB titles and the silver medal in Sydney. Ricardo then joined Jose Loiola, who showed Ricardo "the lion style," a furious fight for the game. That pair captured silver at the 2001 Worlds. Ricardo then saw most of his success after teaming up with Emanuel in 2003. Prior to Ricardo, Emanuel also had successful partnerships with Ze Marco and Loiola.

As a child, Ricardo competed in soccer as a goalkeeper. He began to play indoor volleyball as he got older, and after playing professionally in Argentina in 1997, he decided to pursue beach volleyball when Ze Marco asked him to play. His first introduction to the beach was shagging balls for his cousin, Paolo, when Ricardo was a teenager.

When Ricardo isn't playing volleyball he can usually be found at home with his family. "I'm a quiet person and love my family very much. Every time I have free time, I go to see my parents," Ricardo says. He married his wife, Fabiana, in 1997 and together they have three children: Pedro, Julia and Nicholas. Ricardo and his daughter share the same birthday, Jan. 6. In his spare time, Ricardo runs a gym in Joao Pessoa.


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

Age: 42 years old
Birthday: January 6, 1975
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Birthplace: Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Current Residence: Joao Pessoa, Brazil

Check out Ricardo Santos hot pics and sexy photos.



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