“I wanted to be an astronaut. In the end I noticed my rivals »- Corriere.it

“I wanted to be an astronaut. In the end I noticed my rivals »- Corriere.it
“I wanted to be an astronaut. In the end I noticed my rivals »- Corriere.it
from Gaia Piccardi, sent to Tokyo

The fastest man in the world wanted to be an archaeologist or an astronaut. Improved thanks to the renewed relationship with his father who left him in El Paso a few months to go to Korea with the US Army: “Merit of a good mental coach”

De-without-za-no-sul-gar-da. Now that comes in front of the microphones of the Bbc, having distributed thoughts, words and smiles from CNN to Al Jazeera, the spelling of Marcell Jacobs it has become more precise. “Even the accent has improved along the way,” jokes the unpunished, who when he telephones dad Lamont in the US gets help for English from the google translator.

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It is hard to distinguish the talented but fragile long-distance player under the role of the 100% Olympic champion, forced to choose between jumps and speed in order not to risk getting hurt too often. And it is unrecognizable that first sketch of a sprinter who lost direct confrontation with Filippo Tortu, the other Italian in the semifinal yesterday in Tokyo, and then found a good excuse not to take responsibility.

«I met a good mental coach, Nicoletta Romanazzi, who joined my team together with my historic coach Paolo Camossi – he says -. With her I agreed to work in depth on my fears and my ghosts. It was not easy: there is an intimate part that we do not want to show even to ourselves. But I learn quickly. The psychological work began in September of last year and in six months I obtained a European indoor gold, the 9 “95 in Savona, the three Italian records at the Games and the Olympic gold in 9” 80 “.

He says so, as if he had stamped the card and in fact Jacobs on the blocks had the most serene expression among the eight finalists, he ran relaxed and the other contracts, a laser beam straight to the target. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this even in my wildest dreams – the blue laughs, just sitting on Usain Bolt’s throne -. I knew I was in condition, I stayed focused on myself. I only noticed my rivals at the finish line ».

The transformation of the athlete followed, by reflex, that of the man. Working on himself with the psychologist has unlocked repressed memories and released pent-up anger, now Marcell has a relationship with his father who left him in El Paso a few months to go to Korea with the US Army. «At 18 months I was in Italy, my children were born here. I feel Italian in every cell of my body. I don’t remember my father as a child. From the moment we returned from Texas with mum, our very personal two-person challenge began. At school I was in trouble. Draw your family, the teacher told me: I only had my mother to draw and I suffered from it. Who is your dad, my friends asked me: he doesn’t exist, I replied, I barely know that I bear his name. For years I have built a wall. And when my father tried to contact me, I didn’t care. “

Today that the channel with Lamont has reopened, even Marcell’s dialogue with speed, the profession he has chosen, is more fluid. “The power of the energy that moves when you knock down a wall is incredible. I hated him for missing, I reversed the perspective: he gave me life, crazy muscles, speed. I judged him without knowing anything about him. Before, if a race didn’t go well I blamed the others, bad luck, the weather. Now I understand that results depend only on work and commitment ».

Gold in the 100 meters at the Olympics changes Italy’s expedition, the history of athletics, its existence. “It’s my year – he says not too loudly -, records can also be beaten but nobody can take the medal away from me and it is destined for the wall of the living room, where you can see well”. As a child he wanted to become an archaeologist (“I liked fossils”) or an astronaut, he admires Mennea and Bolt, to whom they now compare him. But how did you do it, Marcell? «I asked myself: what do the others have that I don’t have? Nothing, I replied ».

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August 2, 2021 (change August 2, 2021 | 04:15)


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