It’s a well-know fact that we love surface talk! Why? You’d be surprised at the research and engineering that goes into courts for specific sports. Today we’re talking with Alise Kessler, Head of Volleyball for the FIVB, volleyball’s international federation, and Lionel Arlin, Sports Federation and Events Manager for Gerlor, the manufacturer of volleyball–and many other sport–floors at Paris 2024.

Follow FIVB on Insta, YouTube, Facebook, and X, and follow Gerflor on Insta and X!

We also have a short interview with 3x Olympian Jordan Larson, who we met at the Team USA Media Summit. Jordan won silver at Lon 2012, bronze at Rio and gold at Tokyo, where she was captain and got the last kill to beat Brazil in the final. She’s going for Olympics #4 at Paris.

Follow Jordan on Insta!

In Paris 2024 news, if you’re going to the Games this summer, the ticketing app is up and running, and you can access your tickets there. The ticket resale platform is also up, so if you didn’t get an event you really wanted to go to–or haven’t even gotten tickets yet–there are opportunities to do so!

In news from TKFLASTAN, we hear from:

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Photo courtesy of Gerflor.


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.


338-How Do You Make an Olympic Volleyball Court

Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics.

If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week, we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I am your host, Jill Jaris, joined as always by my lovely cohost, Alison Brown. Alison, hello. How are you?

Alison: I’m a big fat liar. how come?

Because when we were in New York and we were talking to some of the athletes, we talked about how I could still do a split. I’ve lost it.

Jill: No.

Alison: I did. How? So I have, I have restarted my stretching regimen. I think it had to do with my foot surgery and now my calf and up to my knee and I thought I could still do it, but I can’t.

Jill: Oh no. How far off are we talking?

Alison: Oh, like, Four inches.

But still that was just an absolute devastating discovery the other day.

Jill: Oh, I can imagine. Oh my goodness. Cause you are quite flexible. I will say that.

Alison: It’s the only thing I have. I have no endurance. I have no strength. The only thing I have is flexibility so that that is going. I am. I am devastated. So send in your best stretches for me to get my split back.

Jill: Right. Jackie. Jackie Simenow. We’re talking to you.

Alison: I know. I need you, Jackie.

Jill: Well, you might need a good floor to practice your splits on. This is true. Oh, I’m so excited.

Interview: Alise Kessler of FIVB and Lionel Arlin of Gerflor

Jill: We’re talking today with Elise Kessler, Head of Volleyball for the FIVB, the International Volleyball Federation, and Lionel Arlan, the Sports Federation and Events Manager for Gerflor, the manufacturer of volleyball and many other sport floors at Paris 2024.

But we are focusing today on indoor volleyball and all of the technology that goes into that floor. What we can expect to see in Paris. Um, and also the legacies of these floors and how long they last. It’s fascinating and so exciting. Take a listen. Thank you so much for being with us today. Elise, why does volleyball need its own type of flooring? What is special about the sport that a specialized court helps it?

Alise Kessler: That’s a very valid question. So, as you can imagine, volleyball is a very fast paced sport. Paced sport, it requires a lot of different skills. And in addition, it evolves from year to year. We see that the athletes are bringing on more, more speed, more power. They need to act, very fast, depending on the, the skills that they want to excel, but specifically.

There are a few key, items, key standards as to why. So number one is the shock absorption, and this is one of the. key criteria is because there is a lot of jumping. There’s a lot of diving involved. So the floor needs to be receptable of all those actions and accommodate those actions and to minimize the also the strain on the athletes when they perform those skills.

And eventually also to, release or decrease the fatigue that these actions and skills when being performed what would give out the other thing is the traction, which relates to the. Speed of the game, right? The players need to move quickly, change their position, change direction they’re going.

So the floor really needs to have a good grip and, allow the athletes to react very fast. Additionally, of course, because a lot of skills involve a lot of balance, The athletes need to have, a floor that responds to their body weight that gives them also adds additional balance options for them again, to receive, to attack, and so on.

And effectively what we have found out during the years as well, obviously the durability of the floor, because there is a big shock, there is a big, Pressure applied on these floors. The durability is also one of the aspects why this floor needs to be made of what it is and, and, and provide this, durability, and all that combined.

Which is the priority for us here at FIVB, is the priority for GyrFloor. That’s why our partnership works, is the safety of the, for the athletes. Right. So, all this is done to, protect their limbs to protect, uh, shock absorption and, and, and alleviate the stress on their bodies when they are performing at this high level.

So there are a lot, a few, quite a few things that go into why we need a floor of this quality, for our top level high performance.

Jill: The brand of the floor is, is share floor. It’s, is it a special type of floor?

Alise Kessler: So JLo is the name of the company. It’s the brand, the type of the floor that is used for volleyball is actually TerraFlex. Teraflex, and the model, the performance, high performance, model is what we use at official FIVB competitions and such.

Alison: Would non athletes walking on the floor feel a difference than, say, on a basketball court or any kind of other gym floor? Could they feel that sort of bounce versus durability?

Alise Kessler: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You instantly feel whether the floor has the tension enough. To support a spring or a jump. and same, you will also feel if the floor is too soft and therefore makes it more difficult to jump.


Jill: Will it be a special color in Paris?

Alise Kessler: So in Paris, obviously we are working with Gerflor. We will have the top level product, performance floors in Paris for all surfaces because in the venue that we are, we are covering Six of them, actually the competition floor, then there are two warm up courts as well within the spectrum of the spectators.

So for the first time, spectators will be able to walk around and see the athletes actually warm up for their upcoming Olympic match, which is extremely exciting. Plus in that same, venue, we also have the training courts and all these surfaces will be covered by Gerflor. Now, unfortunately, I can not reveal the exact type of the color of the floor.

This is still kept, as a secret. The team from Paris 20 to 24 are preparing a little surprise. But what I can say is that the floor will, blend in with the look of the arena of the volleyball arena itself. So customized,

Alison: Now I want our listeners to take bets on what the color is going to be.

You can make your guesses. I know, I don’t have guesses. I’m going to keep those, but yeah, I’ve got some guesses.

Jill: Leonel, we, at least talked a little bit about shock absorption and, and other elements of the floor. What features does the floor have that make it specific to volleyball?

And I’ll say that, like, Alison, did you play volleyball in school growing up? Just in, yeah, right, in high school

Alison: and we just played on the basketball court.

Jill: Yeah. So what makes, I, I get that you want agility and being able to move, but like, what is it about a wooden floor that is no good for volleyball?

Lionel Arlin: Well, I think that, uh, there is a, a major difference between a, parquet wood, wood floor and a synthetic floor like TerraFlex. This is, uh, about, the deformation. The deformation of a synthetic, or vinyl flooring is about, the point of contact. The deformation is only, when the player is, uh.

jumping and moving the deformation is punctual is only At the contact point whereas for area elastic which are basketball floors The floor is hard floor does not deform and the deflection area is around the player so there is a very very nice level of Amortization and energy restitution, but it’s only an around the floor for parking But for synthetic flooring like TeraFlex, it deforms at the impact, at the point of contact when a player falls down, moves, jumps, lands.

Then he feels really the positive benefit of the, cushion flooring because we produce cushion flooring. So, there is a depression of the cushion that really helps the player to, not to feel the weight. And the cushion deforms and absorbs the weight of the body and the cushion springbacks and gives energy for players.

So this is the big difference in this, product compared to the other family, which are area elastic parquet and basketball floors. So basketball floors or wooden parquet are not perfect. So bad for volleyball, but for Taraflex, it’s the best volleyball floor in the world because not only, a capacity or to bring for athletes, the best playing conditions, but also colors wise, we are able to duplicate the same colors for any production, for any events and for volleyball.

FIVB. This is very important to have immediately the feeling that yes, we are in the volleyball arena. The colors are the FIVB official ones, the volleyball world official ones. So it’s very important for the spectator to, to recognize that this is their sports. So I would even say that at, you said, you said very well the definition of a, a geo floor flooring safety protection, comfort.

It’s very important for the players, especially when they dive, because volleyball is not like basketball. Each sport is very specific in its actions. And when a player dive, he wants to be protected. He wants to have a comfort with the body. and the skin should be protected. And Gerflor has a specific, I would say, Advantage, this is a smooth top layer, okay, with a small embossing, the embossing will helps.

will help the player to have a, a balanced friction when they change direction. But when they dive, they will feel that their body and the skin is protected. And it’s very, very good because they know they can, they can play full energy. They can really, jump far and dive far to take, to catch a ball.

So it’s, it’s very, it’s very specific in our range of flooring.

Alison: So, as you’re saying this, I’m thinking that you have really two competing needs. You have, when someone dives, you need it to be very smooth so their skin isn’t scraped off. But when they’re on their feet and trying to change directions, you need that tackiness and that stickiness to keep them from, from lack of a better word, tumbling over and it’s just like playing on ice.

Lionel Arlin: Exactly. And this, this is all about, uh, the secret of our floorings. How to balance two different, feelings that the player needs to have. He wants to be firmly, attached to the floor. He wants to, the floor reacts very well. He doesn’t want to fall down to lose balance, but he wants also the floor to help him.

to express very well when he dives and he wants to pick up a ball. So, it’s not that easy and a floor is something very specific. An athlete sometimes would say, I like the floor, I don’t like the floor. Sometimes he doesn’t understand, but when he doesn’t want the floor, he says, I don’t like the floor.

I don’t want to play on that. It’s not so good. and they, when they see that a Teraflex Gerflor floor is installed, they feel very well because they know that they can play at their best.

Jill: How does the environment of the stadium affect the floor? Does it change at all if it’s humid or if there’s a lot of airflow going in or too hot or too cold?

Lionel Arlin: We produce flows, but our, uh, I would say obligation or, uh, ambition with FIVB is to bring flows, Gerflor, Teraflex everywhere. In Alaska, in Greenland, in Tahiti, in Russia, or in Spain, in Italy, wherever, in Poland.

So, we need to, uh, to understand how also to support the installer, or the feeder, or the arena, operator, to install the floor. So, humidity or ventilation is important. Is very important because if the players or the athletes sweat too much, of course, then, uh, when they dive or when they create some humidity, it’s not so good for the good, the balance on the floor, they might risk to fall down.

So it’s very important that ventilation or AC works perfectly. And we work in advance with the organizers to do that. of course, there should be no, no wind or no, uh, I would say. natural, uh, wind or space that will, distract them from their, play. it’s very important to, uh, make sure that they have understood all, because every arena have their own infrastructure.

And their own, I would say, history. So it’s very important to explain them in advance, to give us our guidelines, to support them. whether we are in, uh, in one country or in another country, and even in one country, sometimes the perceptions is different. So it’s, uh, it’s very important to discuss with them.

Also, this is very important to, to control the temperature of the inside the hall, because, uh, we, we produce. Thermoplastic flooring. It’s a flooring that can be a bit, expand when it’s too hot and a little bit shrink when it’s too, too cold. And sometimes people don’t like to pay too much the The heating system or ventilation and they say, well, we will do some, uh, I would say, reduction of costs, but we say, no, no, the temperature needs to be between 18 to 20 to guarantee that the floor does not change, of aspect and, uh, I would say, uh, benefits.

It’s very important.

Jill: And because if it, if it shrinks, does that mean like it doesn’t absorb the shock of jumps or anything as well as it could if it had optimal temperature?

Lionel Arlin: I would not say so in a critical case, maybe a percentage of shock absorption could be reduced. I have.

I’ve done some events in Mongolia where they didn’t have any heating system. So the temperature was five degrees or inside. So the floor was a little bit, uh, shrinked and it was not good. Very important to say also is that we install our floor as a temporary, they are not fixed for permanent. So I think we, we roll out the sheets or rolls of 18, 16 linear meters long.

Okay. 1. 5 width rolls, and then we take the roll. So we stick the roll with double sided adhesive tapes. For the time of the event, and then we apply the game marking lines, the five centimeter official FLEB game marking lines, the white lines, to draw the vulnerable floor and game lines. So, and this can also be sometimes a bit sensitive if the conditions are not respected inside the hall.

So it’s a very big balance to respect. I would say that, uh, Since we have teams all over the world, since our floors are strong enough, robust enough to be rolled out, rolled back after the event, reinstalled that you can use So many times our flooring, which is a good investment for players for, for, I would say, purchasers or clubs or communities, everything is important.

And it’s very important to, to explain this to organizers. Most of the, of the volleyball clubs, they know that.

Alison: How long does it take to install a floor?

Lionel Arlin: Well, for teams, which are experts, it can go very quick, but I would say that, uh, for first time, we need a one day and a half.

The first day is to roll out the rolls, the sheets, wait until the tensions of the packaging or the productions are eliminated and then after, wait for a couple of hours and then the morning, the day after, we can, start to, to tape and to draw the game lines. Whereas when the floor has already been installed first or second time, then you can maybe do that in one day.

Depends also about the, the teams and the technical persons.

Alison: So the ends curl up when they’re in the roll too long. When you’re saying putting the weights on the ends, is that because it was stuck in the roll and it keeps that.

Lionel Arlin: Yeah, yeah, the first time, yes, the first time, uh, of course, because, you know, a spot floor is rolled, uh, under a, a core, box, This is the way we transport and we ship the rollers.

And of course, it’s important to, for the first time to respect that. But, uh, many clubs use the, uh, Gerflor Teraflex for years and years. And, and they install it in one day, remove it a couple of hours, store it and reinstall afterwards.

Alise Kessler: So you can see that there is a whole science going into this, right?

it’s not as easy at it as it sounds. And we are lucky with volleyball because for the most part, we are playing in indoor venues, well secured. We get to control the temperature, but at the same time as FIVB, we are striving to bring volleyball all around the world, like Lionel alluded as well. And we are going to places.

like Thailand, and such where the temperature control becomes more important. quite difficult and we keep pushing boundaries of trying to find these magnificent, iconic, , venues. So we’ve had cases where we’ve actually held our events outdoors, and this is where it becomes tricky. And we, you know, we have stories, with working with Leonel to find solutions in the heat of Rome, for example.

It is always a joy to find, uh, solutions for wherever we are to make sure that the floor is, is all right, because it is one of the key elements for our players to be able to perform at their top level.

Alison: Okay, so every answer you’ve given Has made me write down about six more questions.

We are very happy. But

Lionel Arlin: it’s very good. We are happy to give you. We’re

Alison: excited. Are there different needs for the men’s game versus the women’s game?

Alise Kessler: No. In that sense, No, we are lucky as a sport itself, to be a very equally positioned sport. Not, not only in terms of, our structure of events and the opportunities that we offer for the athletes, the athlete base itself, but also in terms of the game. The game differences are mostly in strategies.

but at the end of the day, uh, the jumps and the shock on the floor, the, the dives, actually the diving happens, I guess, more in the women’s volleyball one could say, but all in all in that respect, there is no, different, requirement.

Alison: have athletes talked about going back and forth between say a generic wooden floor?

in terms of differences and adjustments they have to make in their style of play?

Lionel Arlin: I think so. I think so. I think that, When you, we have a lot of examples, especially in America, where, the woman, , uh, volleyball players, they always had to play on parquet and, uh, they like it. they like it very much, but it’s, it’s a wood floor. It’s a hard floor, but, uh, they are used to play on that, but whenever they have the chance and more and more now in America, we are pushing and promoting and their love is.

Is to play the Olympic floor, the Teraflex they love it. And we have so many examples where, where finally we, they could, acquired a surface. We provide them a surface. And then the reaction of girls are fantastic. They really, they dive immediately. When the first time they are so happy because there is this cushion floor, this cushion floor is, is make the floor comfortable for them.

And it’s, uh, they will play at their best. they will be so happy. They are so happy. And we are happy to have success in America. Thanks to this, this flooring. But of course, a parquet where you can play basketball, volleyball, and many other sports. It’s not your sport. It’s not your floor.

So it’s when a community can get there. Specific sport flow. They are so happy and volleyball women and men and men clubs in America. They are their dream. Comes reality most of the case now.

Alison: How do you clean it?

Lionel Arlin: It’s very easy There is no specific. I would say maintenance program. You don’t need big machines.

You just need to to use a I don’t know to say in English, but You brush simply or you you you don’t need a specific Treatment or chemical treatment or machines You Also, this is due to a, the varnish we put on our flooring, that on the top layer where we have this special buing, we apply special varnish that, uh, really create a film.

And this film will, uh, prevent, uh, the dust to, penetrate inside the, the, the floor. So volleyball floor is, uh, something very easy to, to clean, and, there’s no big, program.

Alise Kessler: Usually done with a mop.

Lionel Arlin: Yeah.

Alison: Yes. You know, cause I’m envisioning, Oh, they put Mr. Clean on there and ruined the floor.

Cause you know, The

Lionel Arlin: mop, yeah, this is the word I was looking for.

Jill: Has changes in play, like teams developing different strategies and play evolving, has that changed that? helped inform you on how to make technological changes to the floor? Because obviously, the floor of 2024 is not the same floor of 1976.

Lionel Arlin: Yes, exactly. Indeed. Even though the, I would say the thickness of a tile flex between the last 25 years did not change too much.

I think we would install a 7. 5 thick surface, uh, in, uh, Paris 24, but I think in, uh, first time ever we did Volleyball in the Montreal 76, I think the surface thick was about seven, six point, six point five. What has changed is, uh, the composition of the floor, the components inside. Of course, uh, we are now so green in, uh, the quality and selection of the, of the raw materials.

also the, the smooth embossing has changed a little bit. We have listened to the players and they wanted to have something more soft, more smooth. And also this, uh, what I used to say, the varnished, what we call protexol, a, it’s a specific varnish that also helps to have a non sticky surface.

Burning of the skin when you dive. So this was elements that we have added Olympic after the Olympic to increase the quality and the, the pleasure and the comfort of the athletes.

Alison: Yeah, I keep thinking with that bounciness, such a relief for ankles and knees and hips. That that would just take so much pressure off the lower joints when you get that little.

That little bounce for you.

Jill: Do you find that floor related injuries are less now with the BetterFloor, Elise?

Alise Kessler: Well, it would be difficult to pinpoint, but we do know one thing, and this is again where our partnership excel with Gerflor because we know that our priority to keep our athletes safe is also theirs, and they keep pushing the bar, and they keep innovating and, and finding, better solutions.

I can definitely say that, working in the FIVB environment, I work with a lot of retired volleyball players and one of the key, definitely long term injuries that have, they have sustained while, while playing and are now still suffering in in their lives are definitely, or most probably based on, on the floors that they used to play on.

So we, with this aspect and developing the floors and keep monitoring the way that they are being developed and increasing the comfort for the athletes, we are truly hoping that we are making a difference.

Jill: What is the lifespan of a floor? Because you talked about how you can just roll it up and use it again somewhere else. So there’s, a good sustainability factor there, but how long can you keep using one floor?

Lionel Arlin: I would say that, uh, if the floor is permanently installed, the lifespan is easily 25, 30 years.

When you have a portable, um, reusable floor, like a Teraflex for some events, you know, clubs maybe use their floor. For one match, for one event, for one game. So they transport the floor. And, so depending the quality of the people, uh, taking care of the floor, I would say that, uh, you can have easily 50 times installation, a hundred times.

There are so many examples of clubs who really take care so well of the floor and they can install and use it and enjoy it for, for many years, many times of the year. so it’s a very good investment also because. I said to you before, in one day and a half, you create a volleyball professional floor for a big event of 10 days or two weeks like Olympic Games or multi sport games, and then you can remove it.

it’s not that easy to install as a temporary floor, a professional floor, if you understand what I said. So it’s, uh, also depending on the, I would say of the quality of the investor to take care of the floor, to store it well, to install with the right accessories, to keep the same people who know how to, to stick the floor.

So, but the quality of the floor allows for many, many years.

Alison: I’m sure a lot of technology goes into making these floors.

Lionel Arlin: We have some, we are generic name, there are some competitors and we have a check their quality and the top layer, the grain, if they have a varnish, if they have the foam. The most important, and I think we are very unique in this, is the quality of the foam, the foam backing, the cushion.

We have a two density foam. The part, the foam is maybe five to seven millimeters thick, and it’s in two parts. The first part of the foam is, uh, giving the shock absorption. Okay, the density gives a very good. And, I would say a very high level of shock absorption. And the second part of the form allows for the spring back of the athletes.

And so this is something that we have made as a patent. The first, uh, I would say, uh, point and the second point is that we create a specific, you know, the form is composed of cells. And the quality of the cells is very important to ensure that the foam will, will play an active role for years and years.

And we have a specific, I would say, a technology to allow the, the cells inside the foam to be in an oval shape. I would say shape, and the oval shape will not scratch easily. So whenever you have time, welcome and see our factory and you will see that we guarantee that the cells, the cushion, the deformation of the foam will sustain for 5, 10, 15 years.

And when you, you do some, uh, some measurements of the shock absorption of the cushion, You will see that, uh, after 10 years, there’s, we say that maximum 5 percent of the foam are, a bit damaged. So the quality of the, safety benefits of the floor is guaranteed.

Alison: We’re going to be in France, Lionel.

Be careful that you say come to the factory. Yeah,

Lionel Arlin: yeah, yeah, yeah.

Alison: Please, please. Pick him up on the offer. Absolutely.

Jill: Yes, yes.

Lionel Arlin: It’s, it’s important.

Jill: How do you test that then? How do you test for the durability of the foam?

Lionel Arlin: Uh, this is a good question. So of course, uh, we’ve been a leader in producing such Vinyl flooring for 70 years since 47.

So this is a, we have a R and D program and service. We have more than 30 engineers and we have a, we have all the apparatus, to control, uh, all the tests we want to carry out, not only shock absorption, but also energy restitution, or we have some, uh, some machines that also measure the friction and there is a, um, pendulum.

Where we have a, we, we test the friction of the floor, so there is a pendulum that we throw with a, a small patch of rubber and then the machine will check how far or how short, uh, the pad will stop or go on to measure the friction, whether the floor is too tacky or too slippery.

There are many things I could tell you about, uh, about, uh, our flooring but it’s important to see. So welcome in France.

Jill: At least what happens to the floor after Paris 2024 is over,

Alise Kessler: right? So, after Paris, since we’re, we are going to be, um, using quite a few floors to cover all the surfaces that we need to cover, there is one floor that will be donated.

To the French Volleyball Federation as a legacy and all the remainder, uh, will be returned back to Gerflor and they will use it for purchase, allow purchase from, uh, French Volleyball Clubs. So, this means that these floors will remain in France and will be used by our, top volleyball clubs.

And obviously French Volleyball Federation is a, is a key partner for us. And they also organize events. So there will be a very good use for this floor. we are very confident.

Lionel Arlin: If I may add something, the heritage, the heritage is excellent with our, uh, deliveries. Everything will be reused.

Everything will be reinstalled and everybody will re enjoy. So we will participate actively to the success of a big event organizers, investors or city or countries, because nothing is lost. Everything is reused, reinstalled, as a temporary floor or a school. So we are very, um, I’m proud of that and the quality of the flow of two, two weeks will be outstanding.

So we, we have already a lot of ideas around Paris. The greater Paris will enjoy, all the floors because in Paris, we will not supply only volleyball, but many other sports also and many other surfaces.

Jill: Oh, we know.

Alison: Can you watch volleyball for fun or are you always looking at the technical issues going on?

Yeah. Yeah.

Alise Kessler: Listen, it’s always like with any profession, right? and it’s not only volleyball, it’s sporting events in general. you always look for technical similarities, for the performance factors, for all the things that we address in our daily lives.

So, but it is always extremely exciting to see, um, uh, high speed volleyball match. It is always exciting. It gives you goosebumps, the emotions and, and, and the skill. as I said, we, we are lucky, with my team. We call every day on a daily basis. When we come to work, we confess that, you know, we are lucky to have this job.

And every time when you arrive to the, let’s say, for example, final stage of Would it be our annual league or Olympics? and you see these performances where the athletes leave everything on the floor, It gives you a special feeling, you cannot compare it. So yes, when you watch, when I watch a volleyball match, obviously I pay attention to, uh, to everything around, but not exactly the action that is happening on the floor.

So I need to remind myself often. So. Is focus, focus. You are something incredible is passing you by. So it comes with the profession. Yes.

Lionel Arlin: To add to what Alise said, of course, uh, me, uh, it’s my job to make sure that everybody’s very satisfied. So maybe I have a professional deformation when I enter an arena, I look. And I said to myself, okay, perfect. Everything is okay. or sometimes I see a little thing that is not perfect. Nobody, nobody will, uh, really, uh, see this.

I would say, okay, this, I know that. I noticed this, uh, maybe at halftime or after the game, I would say, maybe we can correct a little bit, maybe a tape or something. But usually I don’t have to do that because everything is perfect.

Jill: Excellent. thank you so much. We are so excited. we’ll be in Paris, so we were very excited to get to volleyball and see the floor in action.

Alise Kessler: Absolutely. Don’t be strangers. Come and enjoy.

Alison: Oh, we won’t.

Jill: Welcome.

Lionel Arlin: Anytime. Pleasure. Lovely. Thank you so much.


Jill: Thank you so much Elise and Leon. You can follow share floor on Insta. They are at share floor sports on X. They are at Share floor group. Volleyball, you can follow the FIVB at their website, FIVB. com.

They are on X, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook at Volleyball World. So in this interview, we talked about. the color of the floor for Paris and they would not let us know what it was. So what do you think?

Alison: I want it to be pink. I think it will be turquoise.

Jill: Okay. I would go for turquoise myself. And I think pink accents.

Oh, but it could be pink with the turquoise accents.

Alison: I was trying to think, going back to our conversation about the, hockey field. And how blue was such a good color on camera. That’s why I’m kind of thinking, oh, the turquoise.

Jill: Oh, I bet you are totally right. But I want

Alison: it to be pink so bad.

Jill: We shall see. But that’s all right. Those are our votes. Listeners, if you have ideas on what the floor could possibly look like, let us know. We are flamealivepod at gmail. com.

Interview: Jordan Larson

Jill: so also we’ve got Jordan Larson with us, who is a three time volleyball Olympian.

She won silver at London 2012, bronze at Rio 2016 and gold at Tokyo 2020, where she was the captain and got the last kill to beat Brazil in the finals. She is going for Olympics number four at Paris. We got to talk with her for a few minutes about her career at the Team USA Media Summit.

Take a listen.

Alison: So you’re coaching now? Yes, I

Jordan Larson: am.

Alison: How is it going back to being a player while you’re coaching and switching how you think of volleyball?

Jordan Larson: Yeah, it’s, it’s been fun. I, I’m definitely, I’m excited. I mean, I love the sport and I love just learning about high performance and how it kind of trickles down from generations and, um, I just, I’ve been loving having the conversations, you know, and I think back of how I wasn’t as an athlete and like what I know now, what I wish I would have known and how can I translate to them and help them learn the lesson sooner than maybe I had to learn it.

So, uh, it’s been so fun. I, I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s been more fulfilling than I ever thought. Yeah.

Alison: Do you ever want to look at your coach and say,

Jordan Larson: you know,

Alison: what

Jordan Larson: I do is, I know, no, I, um, yeah, it’s obviously working with John and, uh, and some of the greatest coaches I’ve ever had, uh, how to build success over time like that.

It’s, it’s hard, it’s hard to do and to withstand is, is really incredible. So for me, it’s just having the conversation and sitting down and learning. Always, I think always being a learner. Some of the best. That’s what they always constantly do. So keep doing that.

Jill: You like process? Yeah. What do you like about process?

Jordan Larson: Just, because at the end of it, then you’re like, look at what I’ve done. You know, like when you really fall in love with the process, like you understand the ins and outs and the challenges and like it’s, but then the end and, and I, I love this idea of like, I don’t know, you want to try to live life without regret.

I want to get to the end of my career knowing that literally I have, I don’t know, my grandma always used to like, you know, wring out the water like in a towel. I want to feel like my body, I’ve done everything that I am physically, mentally capable of doing because when I get to the The last part of it, I want to know, like, I, I have nothing left unturned, and I think I, I’ll be happy in that, you know?

Jill: Okay, speaking of bodies, we’re old, so we appreciate that you are, that you are what they call an older athlete. Yes, yes. We think it’s great. Yeah. How is that with training and maintaining high performance level? Yeah,

Jordan Larson: it’s, uh, I, I feel like I’ve just gotten smarter over the years as far as taking smaller, shorter contracts and understanding that getting in the weight room is really important.

Obviously nutrition, um, recovery is just, sleep is huge. Um, and getting a massage. I get a massage like, sometimes twice a week. Um, just because, I know, I know. There’s a different kind of massage. I get like sports massage. So like basically he’s like beating me up on the table. But it’s, uh, It helps so much.

And, um, and again, I, I do different blood tests to help understand like where I’m deficient and how I can be better vitamin intake and things like that. So it’s really evolved over the years. Um, but for me, weight room has been huge and taking shorter contracts. So it’s like playing shorter amount of times, but really intense.

Um, And so having someone in an off season as a lot loud longevity.

Alison: So with the supplements,

Jordan Larson: yep. Okay. It’s okay. So with supplements, you’ve got to be super careful with that though. Yes. Wow. I wouldn’t say supplements, but yeah, vitamins, but there are now a lot of NSF safe sport. So it’s third party tested.

So we are able to, you know, a multivitamin or things like that. We’re able to do that. Um, and then things that help us facilitate sleep or digestion, you know, those kinds of things. But there are a ton of supplements out there that help, um, Yeah.

Alison: Thank you so much. Yes, no

Jordan Larson: problem. Thank you.

Jill: Thank you so much Jordan. You can follow Jordan on Insta at gov 1007. We’ll have links to all that in the show notes.

Special Opportunity!

Jill: We have a special opportunity for you if you enjoyed our interview with Joanna Garten and, uh, Samantha Schultz about. Garton’s book, All in Stride, and you’d like to read and review it on Amazon or Goodreads or Storygraph or other places where you can review books, please let us know.

, we’ll send you a free copy of the PDF. If you write a review for the book and, uh, help Joanna’s book see more eyes, it’s a really great read. And, we’d like to help with Shukla Stani out.

Jill: and help her get more, , purchases of that book. Email us at flamealivepod at gmail. com. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, maybe let’s, you\

Paris 2024 News

Alison: know, one of these days. People are just going to write in and tell me how bad my French is. I know. I know my French is terrible. I am trying so hard though.

Jill: But what you can’t see, listeners, is the joy with which Alison says all of these French phrases. Is she just beams as, like, I have said some French.

Alison: Yay

Jill: me!

Alison: You know, I, I said this before, I’m going to be able to ask all the questions and understand none of the answers because I rehearse it in my head. I see what our first Paris 2024 story is for every show and I’m like, okay, what phrase do I know that goes That’s why I get so excited because I could, I could come up with something that’s connected.

Jill: Yeah, c’est magnifique. , also magnifique is the fact that tickets are now available in the ticketing app. It is Paris 2024 tickets. You will use the same login that you used to purchase the tickets and the sessions pop up automatically. So I did check this out on contributor Ben’s phone because he had to buy tickets.

tickets will have a QR code that will not pop up until quote shortly before the session and quote, don’t know what shortly before the session means, but since some of the venues are letting you in 90 minutes ahead of time, I would imagine it’s a little bit before that. The ticket itself is pretty detailed on telling you what entrance to go to, what stand you’re sitting in, block, row, seat, etc.

The seat map, not so detailed. Which is kind of a bummer because I would have hoped at this point, you know, like when you buy tickets here in the US for most venues, you can see exactly where you’re sitting and you can see exactly what the stage looks like or the what your view of the field of play would look like.

Not so much here. I would really love to see that because I think that I think people would have a lot of questions about that and that would alleviate some frustration. So we’ll see if they end up adding that on. You can also buy a souvenir ticket. when you look at your tickets. So if you did not do that originally and are regretting that decision, you will have the opportunity to do so.

So don’t worry about that. Options to transfer and resell your tickets are there. Looks like a simple process. You just hit the resale button. You choose the ticket you want to resell. You hit continue and it is on sale. You can cancel that resale at any time. If for whatever reason, there are no takers for your tickets, 12 hours before the session, your sale will be automatically canceled.

Alison: I hope they shorten that when we’re actually at the, in the session, because some people will still want to buy last minute tickets and 12 hours for resale. is a lot.

Jill: Right. You really have to know the day before, like, Oh, I could go see something tomorrow, what’s available, but there could also be a, Oh, we finished the session and I only did one ticket a day thinking that that would be, I didn’t know how long it would take to get around.

And now I want something to do in the evening. Well, you know, you would have had to figure that out by seven in the morning. So hopefully they can take, I mean, it’s technology. stuff can happen instantaneously. So we’ll see if they end up, making that a little bit shorter. Oh, also you can check out the ticket resale at ticket dash resale dot Paris, 2024.

org. So if you were looking to see what’s out there and there was a lot of stuff out there already, and there were stuff that pretty cheap prices, like under a hundred euros under 60 euros, but you’ll. be able to add on events. You’ll be able to release tickets if you can no longer go. I think you’ll find takers.

I did see somewhere in the app that if you bought tickets for the ceremonies, they will arrive in the app later. That might be June. Cannot remember because I couldn’t find it again once, once I saw it. And I did not see any tickets for sale on the resale platform either.

Alison: I think we talked about this a couple of weeks ago.

We went to a media press conference about the opening ceremony. And there’s still a lot of things that they are figuring out as to where people are going to be, how they’re going to be positioned, what time you have to arrive, and then how security is going to work, where you can and cannot go. So I think those opening ceremony tickets have to do with that because they want to tell you exactly what time, exactly what spot, because there will be multiple entry spots.

And if you have a ticket for an area, you can’t move.

Jill: Right. So they’re going to kind of cordon off sections of the SIN. And if you’re section J, you cannot go to entrance H and think you can walk down. it’s going to be you, you got tickets for J, you go to J.

Alison: So be patient. And also if you didn’t think you could go, check out the resale platform and check out a lot of the hotel and Airbnb listings because I’m seeing a lot.


Jill: Right. We talked about. how prices are starting to go down. And that’s what Ken Hanscom has said. It’s a, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Now people are finding out that they aren’t going to get the prices that they want and with lower demand, lower prices. So you might be able to find something.


Alison: Welcome to Shook Flist On.

Jill: It is the time of the show where we check in with our team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests and listeners of the show who make up our citizenship of Shook Flist On, our very own country. Very exciting. We’ve got people to cheer for.

Alison: Yes. Karen Lubecki is racing at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Charleston, West Virginia, now through May 19th.

If you were there, there’s a very good taco place in downtown

Jill: Charleston. Very good. Get your

Alison: tacos. Go cheer for Corinne.

Jill: Para archer Matt Stutzman has officially qualified for his fourth Paralympics.

Alison: Rob Snoke is covering the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic swim trials for the CBC.

Jill: And Dr. Victoria Jackson is the co director of a new initiative at Arizona State University called the Great Game Lab. the lab will explore how the U. S. connects with the world through sport and the convergent, and the convergence of global sport, media, and geopolitics.

Alison: And I think we’re going to have to ask Dr. Jackson to come back in our off year. Yeah. Talk about that.

Jill: Definitely. And see what’s going on there. And you know, this show would have no flame if it wasn’t for you, Shukla Stani. So thank you. Thank you, supporters. We would appreciate it if you would tell a friend about this show, especially as we get closer to the Olympics and Paralympics and people get more excited.

Tell them, Hey, check us out and they can have more fun watching the games. We’d also appreciate it if you’d write a review of the show and find other ways to support the show financially at flamealivepod. com. slash support. So that will do us. That will do it. So that will do it for this episode. Let us know what you think of volleyball surfaces.

Alison: Find us on X YouTube and Instagram at flame alive pod. You can send us an email at flame alive pod at gmail. com. Call or text us at 2 0 8 3 5 2 6 3 4 8 that’s 2 0 8 flame it chat with us and other fans on our Facebook group. Keep the flame alive podcast and sign up for our weekly newsletter with even more Olympic and Paralympic info for you. at our website, flamealivepod. com.

Jill: Next episode, it will be 100 days until the Paralympics, and we will have Justin Fong Sivan on to talk about para javelin. This involves extra poles and traveling with multiple chairs. And, this one was tons of fun. He’s a really fun guy to talk to. So we’re looking forward to sharing his story with you.

Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.