Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan recall their Olympic gold medal win at the 2012 London Games in an interview to the ITF website. Speaking on their London win, Bob Bryan says, "There’s nothing more magical than being at an Olympics and it’s surely the pinnacle of an athlete’s life.
I feel like the culmination of every hour we’ve put in is repaid right there on the Olympic stage. Win or lose, it’s a special experience and no athlete should turn that down. Those medals are probably the two pieces of hardware we’re most proud of in our trophy case."
Meanwhile, Mike Bryan adds, "It’s something that puts you in another category, something extra special that kind of transcends the game. The Olympics has that mystique. Everyone knows what a gold medal is and sometimes people don’t know the Aussie Open or French Open.
A million people come by the house and they blow by all the other trophies and ask, “Can I hold the gold medal?” The Brothers add that losing at the Athens Games was a big disappointment to them. Bob - "We were the No.
1 seeds at all three Olympics we played. We played great our first two rounds in Athens, and then we played against [Nicolas] Massu who had a magical week. He played about a three-and-a-half hour singles match in humidity before the doubles.
He was cramping and limping, and I think we just took him lightly. We felt a bit like rope-a-dopes. He got that second wind as he did all week and they [Massu and Fernando Gonzalez] surprised us. Mike - We just felt like we could taste a medal being in the quarterfinals and being the No.
1 seeds, and I don’t think we ever lost to that team before. We were the heavy, heavy favourites. We just wanted to go away with something. That loss stands out as one of our most disappointing." Bob: We ended up getting on a flight three hours later.
We just went back to the hotel and we were so upset that we got on a flight and took off and went to the US Open. During the entire ride back we were all pretty quiet – no one said a word. Winning the bronze in Beijing at the time was one of our proudest moments.
But once we brought it on US soil, every time we showed the medal people would say, “Guys, what happened? Why didn’t you win the gold?” I think it’s the mentality in the States, or maybe it’s some of the expectations we created, but we always had to tell a story about what happened.
I’ve talked to [Mario] Ancic, [Ivan] Ljubicic and [Juan Martin] del Potro – all who won the bronze – and del Potro ranks the bronze medal right up there with his US Open title. He went home to a parade of people and a packed football stadium cheering for his accomplishment and whereas here in the States is a little different.
But to then win the gold in London, you times that feeling by 100 and times the reaction of the fans here in the States by a thousand. We were in complete shock. Obviously it was just a whirlwind. We were incredibly pumped and then we were whisked back into the locker room to get our jacket and our uniform.
And before we knew it we were on the medal stand in the middle of Wimbledon which made it even more surreal. We saw the flag going up and we thought we were watching it on TV, it just didn’t feel real. We felt like we were little kids watching Carl Lewis win the gold or something.
Mike Bryan: We were pretty stoked to come back in Beijing and get a medal, even though it wasn’t gold. Just to get something so we could say we were Olympic medallists. It was kind of a choked emotion. It’s kind of surreal.
You never really expect to be in that kind of position. You kind of dream about it but once you’re there everything is in a little bit of slow motion and it’s a little bit emotional. I’m not a big crier, but there were watery eyes, it was close. "