London 2012

 

Brink and Reckermann savour new status as sports celebrities

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 12, 2012 – With Europe’s first beach volleyball gold around their necks, Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann have become genuine stars in Germany. Within days of their victory, their list of Facebook friends grew from 10,000 to over 40,000.

Even though Brink and Reckermann were not nobodies in the world of beach volleyball to start with, the change since London has been palpable. Their gold medal was the biggest sensation to come from the German Olympic team at the Games.

A total of 9.2 million people watched the final live on TV in Germany, a phenomenal number for a relatively small sport like beach volleyball. The win was historic, the third set provided a dramatic spectacle, and the two athletes on the podium captured the hearts of a nation.

The very next morning the media roller-coaster started in earnest, with an appearance on breakfast television and press conference at the German House. Everyone wanted to see Brink and Reckermann, and hear the story of their Olympic adventure.

The depth of the fans’ affection was reinforced again in late August during the German Championships at Timmendorfer beach. Wherever they went, a string of requests for interviews, autographs and photos followed. The hype was so great that the golden pair started staying in her hotel room so they could eat meals in peace.

The pair's new profile definitely brought with it added stress, but it has been enormously rewarding as well. They are getting a lot of recognition from their colleagues, some of whom played at Timmendorfer with temporary tattoos that read: “J & J, we are proud of you!”

Fellow Olympian Katrin Holtwick said it was: "Super cool that the atmosphere was so amazing on Friday. Julius and Jonas have triggered a boom, which is great for our sport."

For the stars it was a balancing act.

"It was difficult to deal with all the media attention, trying to keep both feet on the ground and also to stay in training rhythm," reported Brink.

Reckermann added: "I could not even imagine that such a fuss was possible in beach volleyball."

Manager Klaus Karcher said he was surprised at how well his charges had handled it.

"Unbelievable, where the boys find the strength,” he said. "Eighty interviews, 80 times the same questions and then turning around and concentrating on getting the job done."

Kärcher said the television broadcast from London has made his task much easier: "I used to have to go around telling sponsors what beach volleyball is. London has changed that. This Olympic victory will pay dividends for the whole sport, and opens up a promising future for us.”

 

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I could not even imagine that such a fuss was possible in beach volleyball
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Additional information

At Timmendorfer Beach, the hype was so great that the golden pair started staying in her hotel room so they could eat meals in peace