Graf & Agassi: Olympics is a different feeling
Originally published on: 19/07/12 00:00
Interviewed alongside husband and fellow Olympic gold medallist Andre Agassi for CNN’s Open Court, the 22-time major winner describes the experience of winning the Olympic tennis event as “bigger than a Grand Slam”.
“It was more special,” Graf admitted. “Standing on the podium and listening to your national anthem and getting the medal around your neck, seeing the other athletes there that supported. It's a different feeling, it's very unique and definitely more special.”
The German, who says she grew up admiring track and field athletes, says she tried to make the most of being a part of the Olympic Games.
“I stayed in the village for quite a few days until it got too loud and noisy and when I had to move back to the hotel, but just experiencing, just being among everybody, I mean I was out at the boxing, I went to see some of the track and field, some of the swimming competitions, so I was really trying to take it all in, but also try to play. It was yeah, being able to get through the first few rounds and then playing for the gold medal was extraordinary.”
Agassi, who won gold in Atlanta in 1996 after beating Spain’s Sergei Bruguera, said he too found the Olympics to be an emotional experience.
“I remember being on that podium and I remember that feeling of seeing it so many times over the years, what someone might be feeling when that gold medal is put round their neck. Just tears came to my eyes and my father in the crowd who was an Olympic boxer, so I was kind of enjoying it on so many levels.”
The interview, in which the couple also discuss their previous tennis accolades, family life, and their children’s sporting aspirations, airs on CNN's Open Court on Saturday 21 July at 2200 in the UK (full air times below), and on Sunday 22 July at 17:30.