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Show me the way to Klagenfurt Beach

I think that beach volleyball has been on the better additions to the Olympic Games over the past decade. A very action-packed sport requiring great physical stanima in a very televisual environment. Although I don't agree with the "skimpy costume" requirements for the women - not only is it sexist, it's just plain unnecessary, if not uncomfortable.

I realise that sand is an ideal surface for this kind of sport, but why, why do they insist on calling it "beach" volleyball? Sure, it originated on the beaches of California, but the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre at Faliro is not actually what I would call a beach. Nor indeed are many international beach volleyball venues.

It was while I was watching Sunday's women's doubles match with Sona Novakova and Eva Celbova against Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk that I thought to myself, "Huh?" Novakova and Celbova are from the Czech Republic, and Leenstra and Kadijk from that other great beach nation, the Netherlands. (Goodness, they're lucky enough just to have land, never mind beaches).

A quick glance through the FIVB tour calendar for 2004 throws up some interesting locations for international beach volleyball, including downtown Berlin, Austria's Klagenfurt Beach (pictured) and the Swiss alpine village of Gstaad.

Switzerland, indeed, have eight beach volleyballers competing at Athens, two female and six male, including the Laciga brothers, Paul and Martin.

Next thing you know, the Swiss will be entering a yacht in the America's Cup. And winning.