Davor Štefanek has won his first Olympic gold medal. The first medal for Serbia in Rio, and the first gold in wrestling in four decades. This is what he had to say to the Serbian National TV after the ceremony, with the transcript in English.
“The Olympic champion! Twenty years of work have payed off tonight. How are you feeling right now?”
-“I am not even aware of it yet. I can’t believe this happened. Getting into the final was a big deal. I knew I was ready…”
“I don’t know if you can notice, but I still can’t come round. I would like to thank all of the people who supported me, the Olympic Committee, the Federation, the Ministry of Sport, my coaches Sreten Damjanović and Stojan Dobrev, most of all, my parents, who were always beside me… My brother, my cousin, my girlfriend… Everyone that supported me to the maximum. That is the key of everything. Of this gold. And I can simply say that I am beside myself. I think things might get better in an hour or two, if we get to talk.”
“You changed history…”
-”I am the first wrestler to be a World and Olympic champion at the same time. I think this is of great importance for wrestling. For Serbia. I am not yet aware as to what I have done. I am yet to become aware of everything… The way I was after Tashkent in 2014. But even back then, when I was on the Balcony (i.e. of the Town Hall), I said we would see each other again in 2016, after Rio. Before the games, I said I was coming to write a new history of Serbian wrestling.”
“I have been working for this. I have been living for this. And so I have reached this gold medal, and now it’s as if I were drunk… I’m sorry. (laughs) I don’t know what I’m saying right now. Thanks, everyone, and long live Serbia!”