Five years ago, his career almost ended due to injury, but today, Sunday, Italian Gianmarco Tampere shares the gold medal with Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim in the high jump at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In 2016, Tampere suffered a fracture in his foot that kept him from participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but the injury did not demoralize him at the time, and he showed his determination to return again when he wrote on the cast “Road to Tokyo 2020”.
Tampere’s road to return was fraught with difficulties as he tried to reach his level before injury.
In 2018, Tampere wrote an article on the Spikes website entitled “My Friend Moataz”, in which he talks about how Moataz Barshim helped him get back to his level again.
All of the following is stated by Tampere in his article:
“If you look at the pictures in 2016 when I broke my ankle, everyone came right away and tried to console me, I look at those clips and say I’m their opponent but I’m actually a friend of them.”
“A month later, the qualifications started again and I started to participate in 2017, I remember my first major competition in Ostravan, when I jumped 2.2 meters, I was used to the crowd supporting me, but this time everyone supported me even my opponents.”
“I finished Ostrava and went to Paris, but my performance in Paris was very bad, I could not even succeed in the opening attempt, I was very frustrated because I did not know if I would return to my level in 2016”.
“Some players tried to console me but I didn’t want to talk to anyone and went straight to my room.”
“The next day Moataz started knocking on my room door, and he continued even though I didn’t want to open the door, and he started telling me that he wanted to tell me something, so I let him in.”
“We talked together and cried in front of him, but he told me not to rush because I had come out of a long injury and already participated in the Diamond League, although no one expected me to participate and he told me to get more time.”
“The most important thing was to tell me that I should do it for myself and not for anyone else.”
“After that conversation I went back to the stadium and took out my phone and kept looking for close competitions for the high jump in the coming days, until I found a tournament close to Budapest after only two days, so I called the person responsible for it and told him who I am and begged him to put my name on the participating list, and told him I did not want rewards or any We drive even if we jump 2.4 metres.”
“The official called me back and told me that I would be able to participate in the tournament, so I asked him not to tell anyone about my participation because I would like people to know about my performance in it, which he agreed to.”
“The next day I was supposed to go back to Italy, but I turned off my phone and went to Budapest and did not speak to anyone, whether the competition director and Moataz, who did not want to leave me alone.”
“I participated in the competition and did very well and no one knew that I was here because I wanted to play for myself. I was there on my own with full focus, and I did my best performance in a year, and I managed to jump 2.28 meters, something changed inside me, then I came back I came to life again and became stunned higher again because I acted on Moataz’s advice.”
The relationship between Moataz Barshim and Tampere was cemented, and today, at the Tokyo Olympics, the duo wrote a lesson in sportsmanship and presented an image that will remain in the minds of the Olympic Games forever.
After reaching first place together by crossing 2.37 metres, and then failing to reach the highest mark and breaking the Olympic record by 2.39 metres, they had the chance of a playoff to determine the gold medalist.
But they had a conversation with the referee and asked to share the gold medal, which the referee agreed to, to show the great joy of Tampere, who embraced his friend Barshim, who helped him reach that position, and Tampere could not control himself and cried from the intensity of joy, to see one of the most beautiful scenes of friendship and sportsmanship in the Games Olympic.