BAMBI for Beach Volleyball Players
This summer, Germany's best beach volleyball players Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann achieved what seemed impossible by beating the world champions from Brazil in front of millions of spectators and becoming the first Europeans ever to win beach volleyball gold at the Olympic Games in London. The Olympic champions can now celebrate their second gold of the year: on 22nd November, the military athlete Brink and the student Reckermann will receive the BAMBI Award in the category of "Sport".
When explaining its decision to present the award to Brink and Reckermann, the BAMBI Jury stated that: "Their gold medal was the most spectacular of the eleven golds won by German athletes at the Olympic Summer Games in London in 2012: Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann battled it out to become the first Europeans to achieve this top Olympic beach volleyball distinction. Up to nine million viewers were glued to their screens as they watched the two charismatic athletes serve for victory in a breathtaking match against the reigning world champions from Brazil. Brink and Reckermann, who have been playing together since 2009, have already won the German, European and World Beach Volleyball Championships on a number of occasions and are outstanding role models when it comes to sporting team spirit. Their achievement at the Olympic Games helped the relatively new competitive sport of beach volleyball, which became an Olympic discipline in 1996, to experience a huge increase in popularity in Germany."
The powerful duo joined forces to form a sporting team three years ago following a disappointing Olympic year that was well below their individual expectations in 2008, when Jonas Reckermann failed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Peking and Julius Brink was knocked out in the preliminary round. They worked together with three trainers, a mental coach and professional managers to establish a new team and went on to become the first European pair to win the World Championships in the Norwegian city of Stavanger in that very same year. They also became the World Tour Champions in 2009 and were able to record the longest run of unbeaten matches. In 2010, however, the pair failed to win any major titles due to injury. In 2011, they burst back onto the scene and not only won the European Championships, but also became the third-best team in the world rankings and at the World Championships. Brink and Reckermann added to this success in 2012 by defending their title as European Champions and going on to win gold at the Olympic Games in London.