By Antonio Arenas
What I did not tell Ana is that a few hours before I had already had the opportunity to certify that, indeed, the 450 grams of the bronze medal were not light at all. “Pablo, if I were you, I wouldn’t take the medal off my neck. Imagine that it falls out of your pocket, ”I told Carreño. “Now man, but you don’t know what it weighs, I’ve already worn it around the neck for a long time and it throws its head forward.” The conversation takes place in the official transport that takes Pablo and me from the Ariake Tennis Center to the Eurosport studios, where Pablo came to visit us and teleport in The Cube, the avant-garde technological platform that allows us to interview “face-to-face” with athletes 10,700 kilometers away. If any of you have not seen it, I recommend that you do not miss the interview that Alex Corretja did. State-of-the-art technology at the service of fans.
Carreño, in ‘The Cube’: “Having to play against Djokovic relaxed me”
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“I had never felt something like this”, “it is the best day of my life”, “I will never forget this moment”, “it is the greatest achievement of my career” or “I never doubted my presence at the Games” are some of the phrases that Pablo has affirmed these days and that have helped me to reflect on a debate that is as old as the Olympic Games. The three great pillars that sustain Olympism are made up of athletics, swimming and gymnastics. But this axiom should not be used in any case to detract from the other sports, no matter how little tradition or history they have within this global event restored by Pierre de Coubertain. If so, the error would be enormous, since the majority of athletes live, dream and breathe for and for the Olympic Games and whose survival depends on the scholarships harvested in this four-year event.
In fact, winning World Cups, Europeans or Diamond League events in the aforementioned sports can bring athletes (in addition to a significant financial outlay) a lot of notoriety and prestige. Nothing like the Olympics, of course, but in a sufficient dose to continue exercising their sports with some ease. “I would rather win an Olympic gold to a Grand Slam,” asserted a Spanish tennis player this week. Undoubtedly, an opinion little shared in the heart of a circuit in which conquering Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open or Australian Open is considered a priority objective. But a medal is a medal. And nobody knows what it feels like until they get it. And if not, let them tell Pablo Carreño himself, broken into tears after getting rid of the world number 1 in a frenetic duel that enabled him to win (according to himself) the greatest achievement of his career.
Why else would Djokovic sacrifice his fitness before the North American tour? Why else was his disappointment supreme after not winning the gold? Why else does he claim that he will try to fight for the medals again in Paris 2024? Although it is assumed that the value of the Olympic medals may be higher in certain sports, the physical and emotional weight of the medals is the same for all. And one who has verified it tells you.
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