“I lied so much for gold” |
Becker’s former coach recalled the good Olympic victory
Three hours and 26 minutes later, Boris Becker (then 24) and Michael Stich (23) shook palms in entrance of 6,000 spectators at Barcelona’s de la Vall d’Hebron tennis stadium. checked out one another beaming. ran to one another. They hugged one another. An everlasting second. The most important factor: nobody thought it was attainable.
On August 7, 1992, Becker and Stich received gold on the Olympic Games. They received in 4 units towards South Africans Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval in the ultimate: 7:6 (7:5), 4:6, 7:6 (7:5), 6:3.
Becker and Stich, now 54 and 53, are arguably the best German tennis gamers of all time, however they’ve solely been feuding – successful as a staff. At that point, just one individual believed in this achievement: Nikola “Nicky” Pilic (82). During the Games, he was the staff supervisor of the German tennis staff.
“The event was not enjoyable for us. We have been out too early in particular person video games,” recollects Pilic 30 years later. Becker, who misplaced towards Stich in the legendary Wimbledon remaining a 12 months in the past, didn’t face Stich in the spherical of 16 towards France’s Fabrice Santoro, and in the 2nd spherical towards compatriot Karl-Uwe Stieb. In flip, after one lap, the Mexican Leonardo Lavalle. Pilic’s final hope for fulfillment? Double!
“My solely want was to get a medal after shedding people,” he says. The indisputable fact that the 2 stars disliked one another performed no half in his lineup. Pilic: “I do not care what they need – I used to be the chief of the staff. That’s what I made a decision!”
The choice that took him so much of effort: “They did not discuss to one another. I needed to maximize my diplomacy and mediate between them. Sometimes I used to be extra of a psychologist than a staff chief. I used to be giving compliments from one to a different, some of them have been made up. I needed to make him blissful.”
He stated: “I lied so much for gold. But it was essential to exaggerate just a little.”
The victory proved him proper. “Both gamers have been very blissful after the victory,” recollects Pilic. “And me too, of course. I wish to rejoice with them in the night, however Michael has already flown to Hamburg. It was a disgrace, however I needed to settle for it.”
Then Becker coldly stated: “We do not like one another, now we have tennis in frequent.” (*30*) again, Stich stated: “It was absurd to count on that we needs to be associates simply because we’re each from Germany. We all the time needed to be higher than others.”
Pilic was the one one who saved their heads collectively. Born in the previous Yugoslavia in 1939, he grew to become a German citizen in 1987 and lived in Croatia for eight years. “They each wished me a contented birthday a 12 months in the past,” Pilich says. And says: “I’m proud that the boys all the time inform me that they know precisely what I’ve achieved for them.”