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2016-06-01 16:11:00 CET

Julius Brink: My affection for two special Italians

Deep respect for Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri

Adrian Carambula and one of his biggest fans, Julius Brink at Stavanger Major in 2015 Photo credit: Joerg MitterAdrian Carambula and one of his biggest fans, Julius Brink at Stavanger Major in 2015 Photo credit: Joerg Mitter

The tension for the qualifications for the Olympic Games in Rio are finally coming to an end.

After two years of hard battles and with only one tournament left to score for the qualifications, some teams have already mathematically qualified. A quick look into the provisional Olympic Ranking of the FIVB and my eyes gaze excitingly at the name of the “little Pummelchen”, Adrian Carambula.

Adrian, please don’t get mad at me, but I remember a particular lunch last year at the Poreč Major, it was 35 degrees and you had mashed potatoes and sausages on your plate.

The plate of his teammate, Alex Ranghieri, consisted of chicken fillets and vegetables. That left a big impression and smile on my face. It was also the time of their first semifinal…and later that week they had a bronze medal to show for their efforts.

With his skyballs (ßyou have to watch this video!), Carambula became star at the Swatch Major Series and I caught myself pulling my phone constantly to catch one of his signature serves. While trying to capture the skyballs, I noticed how hard it is to spot it against the sun. Just imagine how hard it is to try to receive the skyball serve on the court. Thank god I only have to talk about it, since I never became a victim of this spectacular serve.

While making such a big show and performing the ‘lovehug’ (another charming feature of the two Italians) the audience doesn’t have a clue of the determination they have to go for big success and the passion and love they have towards the sport. When it comes to basic technique, Adrian is one of the best players in the world. He knows to compensate for his lack of body size with his technical know-how and the right attitude. Besides blocking, he is the personified encyclopedia of beach volleyball techniques. In order to follow his career, Adrian sacrificed his ‘hood’ in Florida and moved to room and train with his teammate more efficiently. I know, swapping Rome with Florida might not sound that bad, but it tells us a lot about the commitment someone has. Moving entirely to a different continent and leaving your comfort zone and trading it with hard work and submission to the sport in order to follow your dream. Big respect to you, Adrian.

Ongoing superstars of the Swatch Major Series: Alex Rangjhieri and Adrian Carambula here at Gstaad Major 2015 Photo credit: Andreas LangreiterOngoing superstars of the Swatch Major Series: Alex Rangjhieri and Adrian Carambula here at Gstaad Major 2015 Photo credit: Andreas Langreiter

All of the above is what it takes to start a journey of success. But of course, all of the great achievements do not fall in the lap of an individual player. It’s the work of a team, and with Alex, Adrian found his perfect match on the court and beyond. Alex is the Cristiano Ronaldo of beach volleyball – sports-wise and of course his damn good looks.

The two are a great team, strong performers and entertainers. Missing a match of these two means missing a whole lot more than just an incredible sports game. I really, really, really like them. They just qualified (mathematically) for the Olympic Games and therefore, they gain my respect once again. They make me anticipate the Olympics even more, but first things first, we are going to see them at the smart Major Hamburg next week. which also kicks off the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series. Yeah. I can’t wait!

P.S. If you want read more of my thoughts, and if you are interested in the difference of German men and women, read my first blog article here.

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