Jacobs: “The alarm clock at dawn, the anxiety about the race and that front page of the Gazzetta …”

The two-time Olympic champion tells Massimo Gramellini: “An hour before 100 I didn’t want to run anymore, then I did the breathing exercises. I was ready”

A long interview with Marcell Jacobs was published today in Sette del Corriere della Sera, about his life before and after the historic golds of Tokyo. We publish an excerpt.

Where were you on 1 August 2021, when an Italian won the hundred meters at the Olympics? Maybe one day this question will be part of a conversation manual, but in the meantime we started asking him. “That morning I woke up at 5:40, me and the Tokyo time zone never got along. The race was in the evening and my historic words when I woke up were: ‘Mo’ what the hell do I do all day? “. I call Nicoletta, my mental coach.” Marcell, if you are already awake, stay awake: accept what you cannot change. “She made it easy, her. I open the computer to relax and see the first page of the Gazzetta. C “is a gigantic photo of me: ‘The man of dreams’. I get even more agitated. I spend the day locked in my room trying not to think about the race, but I can think only of the race. I want to reach the Olympic final, after years of beating, I finally arrive at the training ground and relax, but while I try to start at the blocks, I think my semifinal will be the one with the strongest.

I recall Nicoletta, and she: ‘But you already knew, didn’t you? Accept what you cannot change! ‘. Okay, let’s accept. I go to the track and chase the Chinese who is running the race of life, and I don’t like chasing others. Crossing the finish line, Tamberi comes to meet me from the jump platform: ‘What time did you do? European record! ‘. ‘I don’t care, leave me alone! Am I in the final or not? ‘. I’m in the final and there is an hour and forty left. I go back to the warm-up camp, climbing four flights of stairs. As soon as I see Paolo Camossi, my coach, I say to him: ‘I’m dead, I’m not running anymore. My legs feel like stone. I gave everything, the goal is achieved, that’s enough ‘. I lie down on the floor, fully cooked, with cramps. And I call Nicoletta in Rome: ‘I don’t have any more. See if you can do something from there ‘. Let’s start the breathing exercises. On the phone for twenty minutes. I throw away the toxins, I recover the presence in myself. Then I get up and think: ‘Come on, here we go’. I do two stretches and Paolo comes on me: ‘I don’t say anything, but if you leave like this, tonight we risk the coup …’. What the hell is jumping into your head, Paolo? I reach the opponents in the antistage. Before the race, the centometrists scrutinize each other like boxers, but I give everyone a high five. They look at me as if I were a jerk … The judges check my shoes, they put the number on me and I am the quietest person in the world, I don’t even have to go out to go shopping. I have nothing to lose. Zero pressure. We get to the blocks and I repeat to everyone: ‘Good luck! Good luck! ‘. And they: ‘Thank you’, but someone touches himself “.

Click here to read the complete interview on the Corriere della Sera website

We would love to say thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content

Jacobs: “The alarm clock at dawn, the anxiety about the race and that front page of the Gazzetta …”