Medals arrived - Milica in tears, Mikec did not convince her for Paris Olympics VIDEO
Serbian Olympians from Tokyo returned to Belgrade, among them the champion Milica Mandić, the bronze medalist Tijana Bogdanović and silver medalist Damir Mikec.Source: B92
They shared their first impressions of Tokyo, with a lot of emotions because of the medals.
Mandic was especially emotional, saying goodbye to taekwondo competitions at these Games, despite Mikec's attempts to convince her to qualify for Paris 2024 as well.
"Everything is so familiar and yet so strange to me. That's how I felt at the Olympics. We knew how ready we were. The pressure was always there, but we learned to deal with it. It's unrealistic for me to say I'm a two-time gold medalist."
"Now I feel at the peak of my career. I thought I wouldn't be able to repeat this success many times. It's time to take a break. I'm not ready for the new Olympic cycle. Then I'll be around 34. It's time for a break. I wouldn't think much about it right now. I would like to fully enjoy this moment", Mandic said as she held back tears.
"For us, there is no greater thing than representing Serbia in any competition, but the Olympic Games are something special. It's about the Olympic spirit. I told Damir how sorry I am that I can't be in more than two places to feel the other part of the atmosphere. I am sorry that we could no longer follow each other on the competitions. But the whole feeling in the village was extraordinary. Learning that Damir won a medal, after that Tijana fought for the bronze, so everything went well and I wish all our athletes to continue in the same manner. Congratulations to the basketball players on the bronze medal".
"I am aware of the results we made. When we started we knew the magnificence of this tournament. I am satisfied with the bronze. There is no reason to be sad. When I lost my first fight, the whole world collapsed, but I had time to cry. I have two medals on the Olympics and I'm happy with that".
Coach, Dragan Jovic Gale
"It's great that you cover our activities like this, but that's happening only when they are the Olympics. Four medals in three Olympic cycles is a great success for anyone. You can never know if you will win a medal. If you have a good team, the Federation and a few devoted people, that's achievable. I expect someone after us to continue that series of medals".
"I am immensely happy, but I am still not aware that there is a medal around my neck. My colleagues know that feeling, I felt it for the first time. I am honored that I managed to reach medals in all sports on all fronts. Now we are on four medals, we are cheering for them from now on. We were close to another one in the mix with Zorana (Arunović), it leaves a bitter taste. I hope that in the coming days I will "dawn on me" how great a success this is. I will do my best to qualify for Paris. I invite Milica to do the same".
"Tears came to my eyes, and I managed to suppress them. When my colleagues waited for me, then I fell apart. When they congratulate you, that's what it's worth. It's a real sports family, they were happy as if they had won a medal".
Coach Goran Mikec
"First of all, we are brothers, then everything else. When the goals are set, anything is possible. We will analyze the situation and prepare for the new Olympic cycle," said Damir's brother Goran about how he manages to get the most out of it.