Dominic Thiem says US Open victory pales in significance to saving the planet
Former World number three Dominic Thiem claims that contributing to saving the planet would be the “success of a lifetime.”
Thiem won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year after beating Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6), coming from two sets behind to win three sets to two. But Thiem has said that the Grand Slam title win and saving the planet cannot be compared.
Austrian Thiem has spent half of the season recovering from a wrist injury suffered at the Mallorca Championships. Although, Thiem will make his return at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition during the off season.
Speaking at the Kosmos Sports Summit about the sustainability of sport, Thiem said “winning the US Open is obviously something amazing, but it’s pretty personal and you cannot even compare it because protecting the oceans, protecting the environment, and the whole future of the planet.”
“If I can make a little difference to that it would be a success of a lifetime because it’s so much more important than any personal success,” he said.
Born and raised in landlocked Austria, Thiem thinks that visiting the coastline is a special occasion and recognises that the whole world depends heavily on the oceans.
“Maybe because I’m from Austria, where we have no sea, where we have no coastline, it’s more special for me to visit the ocean.
“The last two years when I got into the topic I started to learn that we all depend on the ocean so much and it doesn’t matter how far we are away from it because it connects the whole planet.
“That is why for an Austrian, it’s just as important for somebody who lives on the coast.”
Thiem has also spent time with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), observing protected areas and learning about the ongoing and escalating threats to the environment.
“I was with the WWF in the protected areas of the Balearic Islands, learning a lot about marine life, about plastic pollution, about all the threats and what we can do about it.”
Thiem also called upon fellow athletes to use their platform to help save the planet, saying “sport is such a huge stage with the biggest athletes in the world having a big fan base. To take care of the planet and to turn things around, the time is now.”
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