New Zealand's Michael Venus says winning bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics with Marcus Daniell still feels "crazy." At the Tokyo Olympics, Venus and Daniell beat Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren in the bronze medal match to bring a medal to New Zealand.
"It’s still crazy,” said Venus, per the ITF website. “It’s one of those things that I really don’t know if it will ever sink in, it was so special. “Watching the Olympics as a young kid in New Zealand, everyone is so passionate about it and sport.
To be there representing New Zealand and be part of the whole team, to get to know the other athletes… but then, on top of that for us to get a medal, it’s kind of hard to put into words”. Daniell was happy that he and Venus followed in the footsteps of New Zealand tennis legend Anthony Wilding.
“Anthony Wilding was our greatest ever tennis player, so to follow in his footsteps is pretty damn special,” Daniell admitted. “But the other part that I hope comes of it is that tennis has been an unfunded sport in New Zealand… but now I don’t think high performance sport in New Zealand can ignore the fact that we have won a medal.
“The framework is based on medal chances, and we can show them the medal and hopefully tennis gets recognised and gets some funding and that can start a cascade of tennis players coming up in New Zealand. That would be absolutely incredible”.
It all felt surreal for Venus, Daniell
"I don’t think I can do justice with any words, the kind of feeling, the emotions we had before the match, during the match, after the match, to all the messages of support from people back home,” said Venus.
“So many people have helped us from when we were little kids, when we started playing tennis, all the way through to where we are now. It was really cool to hear from so many of those people and to be able to share that story with them”.