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Years of Punishing Waves Shaped a Rio Hero’s Olympic Hopes

Solberg rose to prominence in 2007 and 2008 with Harley, but Solberg split with him after they lost an Olympic qualifying match. Harley is more than a decade older than Solberg, who wanted someone he could play with for many years.

It did not happen. His partner Pedro Cunha joined Ricardo Santos after Solberg’s positive steroid test and never came back. A few partners later, Solberg joined Bruno Schmidt, with great success, but they split at the end of 2014. (Schmidt joined Alison Cerutti, forming the top team in Brazil, if not the world.) Solberg played with Emanuel Rego, a three-time Olympic medalist who had turned 40, for a time in 2014. That, too, did not last.

“There is nobody in the world who has more partners than I,” Solberg said. “There is no doubt. I played with so many guys. Many times, it was not the best decision I made. I regret some options I made. But it’s from the mistakes that you learn.”

When he picked the little-known Evandro in late 2014, the insular beach volleyball world was surprised. The men make an interesting pairing on the court; they are considered similar players, not classically complementary ones.

“Pedro is the best…

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