Source: CEV. While we all impatiently wait for the resumption of competitive sport, these times of lockdown have offered us the opportunity to catch up with some of the real stars of the game. This time, CEV chats with Austrian Beach Volleyball icon Clemens Doppler, who has been performing at the highest level for some 20 years already!
Clemens Doppler truly is a Beach Volleyball icon, with a career that has been now lasting for more than 20 years. Speaking from his Vienna home, Doppler emphasized that the coronavirus pandemic has not changed his ultimate goal to make a fourth straight appearance at the Olympic Games. “This is the time of the year where Beach Volleyball teams are usually travelling around the world and we were all very much looking forward to the Olympic season, including many other highlights such as EuroBeachVolley and our Major event in Vienna,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, but I am working out at home in order to stay active and be ready for when competition resumes. The Olympics are now due to take place in 2021; as such, the achievement of this major goal has not changed.”
A two-time European champion, Doppler has undergone as many as four major knee surgeries throughout his career. “These injuries have kept me away from the courts for almost four seasons, but they have not prevented me from coming back and have not ended my career, so the coronavirus will not be able to do that either, I want to be the master of my own destiny,” he says. “Of course, I have started to draft plans for my life after retirement, as I am currently studying sports business administration online and I wish to remain associated with the sport. However, it is still too premature to talk about that.”
Doppler hopes to qualify for Tokyo since the Olympics are the ultimate dream of any athlete. “I have been privileged to be at the Olympics three times already and my most memorable moment came in Rio when we beat eventual gold medal winners Alison/Bruno before 12,000 crazy Brazilian fans. It is for those moments that you work hard in the winter, as well as for those we have lived when playing before our own fans in Klagenfurt or Vienna,” he continues.
In this chat, Clemens revealed he played Snow Volleyball some 20 years ago and he is confident that the sport can grow in future. “Obviously, the organisers focus a lot on the sport, but I think Beach Volleyball, and Snow Volleyball can do the same, helps people find a way to enjoy themselves while watching the action. Therefore, I cannot wait for ‘normal life’ to be back and to compete again.”
CEV – European Volleyball