Former American tennis player Mardy Fish admits losing the 2004 Olympic final in Athens was extremely painful for him and he never returned to the Olympic Games ever again. Fish, a former world No. 7, fell just short of winning it all at the Athens Olympics in 2004 as he made his maiden Olympic final before losing to Chilean Nicolas Massu.
Fish was a set away from winning the gold medal but the Chilean recovered from two sets to one down to beat the American 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4. "It is difficult to remember. At the time, I was disappointed, but I thought that over time it would be great to share and remember this medal with my family and friends.
But that never happened. I never felt good remembering that final," Fish recalled on The Tennis Podcast, as quoted on Explica. "I have seen the photos again and the one on the podium says it all. Devastated is little.
We entered after ‘We Are The Champions’ sounded, and I will never forget that. Before I liked the song, and now it’s a song I can’t stand. I never played the Olympics again. I thought I could probably never win a gold medal or have a chance to be in that position.
Being there and doing what I did is something that I will never forget, that will continue with me, especially because of the scars left by the fact that I had the gold medal in my hands and I let it slip away. I felt like I shouldn’t relive those feelings, so I never played any Games again."
Fish mistakenly received an Olympic ring that read he was a gold medal winner
"There is something that many people do not know, and that is that they give you an Olympic ring. They engrave your name, your sport, and if you won a medal.
They send it to you after the Games, and when it came to me, they were wrong, it said ‘gold medalist’. I wore it once, I’ll never forget it. I went to the supermarket with it and when I came back, I looked at it and was like: ‘ What are you doing? You didn’t win a gold medal, why are you wearing it? ‘I never wore it again, and actually I don’t know where I left it."