The Story of Handball Great Didier Dinart | Legends Live On


It was my duty, my mission
to win the Olympics. Didier was the general
of their defence. The greatest defender
in a decade. (LEGENDS LIVE ON) (GUADELOUPE) When Didier was born, he weighed over eight pounds
and was two feet long. He was already quite big. We are in the jungle. This is my childhood home, where I grew up. It’s like a pilgrimage. You think,
“This kid would play here, “a mango tree stood there…” Now, you can’t recognise much.
It’s all trees. As a kid,
I liked to take risks. If anything was forbidden,
I’d do it. I raised him alone. His dad abandoned him, that’s the problem.
He was three. The kitchen, another tiny bedroom. this was my room. A real bond forges
when you watch your mum raise you on her own. She was very courageous. I think sports offered me
a very important path. It also helped me
to become a man. When you have no father,
you build that up yourself. (DURING THEIR TOUR
THROUGH GUADELOUPE,) (DIDIER AND MEMBERS
OF THE FRENCH NATIONAL TEAM) (MET YOUNG HOPEFULS.) I started as Left Backcourt.
Don’t laugh… And I ended up as defence. I thought, “I can’t fail.” So I said,
“I’m going to fight.” I was angry and this anger
pushed me to being a defender. Doing something
the others didn’t want to do. I enjoyed defending,
making my opponents screw up. Defence is a huge combat. He restores balance, stops, or commands. Being a pure defender
is an invisible job. It’s the very essence
of team sports – you give a lot,
you’re not appreciated for it, and the others take advantage.
It’s really, very generous. He was the best defender
in the world, for me. Didier used to say, “You win matches
with good players and offence, “but you win championships
with tough defence.” (BEIJING 2008) In 2008,
the context was simple – we were crushed
after our loss in 2004. (IN ATHENS 2004,) (FRANCE LOSES IN THE
QUARTERFINALS AGAINST RUSSIA) It was our duty,
our obligation, our mission
to win the Olympics. (SEMIFINAL.
FRANCE-CROATIA.) Croatia in semi…
A final before the final. Games against Croatia were
always really, really tight. (HANDBALL MEN.
SEMIFINAL – 1ST HALF.) It was a tense match. It was a big defensive match.
I watched it again. Crazy… Our defending was such
that the Croatians, who had the best
offence at the time, couldn’t get past. Didier was the general
of their defence. And you hit the wall,
and you hit the wall and again and again… If you are not scoring a lot,
then you get frustrated. (TWO DAYS LATER, FRANCE FACES
ICELAND IN THE FINAL.) It was one-sided. We maintained
a five-goal buffer and were never really
in trouble. It was glorious. The Holy Grail!
It was magnificent. 2008 was the beginning
of something magnificent you rarely ever see
in this sport – the sequence of the Olympics, a World Championship
the following year, and a European title in 2010. It’s an absolute,
sublime sequence. You never get used to winning. You’re always putting
your title on the line. That’s an oversized ego – someone who wants to be
a champion and say, “I’m the best,
and I want to be remembered.” And if you can win five times,
that’s good. But six is better. (LONDON 2012.) Number three – Didier Dinart! Semifinal. Return match
against Croatia. They were our favourite rivals,
the Croatian team. Again France! Why now? There we really had
the upper hand. We knew we were
dominating them. (FRANCE WINS 25-22
AND REACHES FINALS.) In the final against Sweden,
we didn’t score much. But neither did they.
Thanks to our defence, we won. When you win 22-21, that seems
like a low score to some. But our defence was huge.
So was Didier. (FRANCE WINS THE FINAL
BY ONLY ONE POINT.) It was an amazing feat – back-to-back Olympic wins!
It was magnificent! The gold medallists
and Olympic champions, representing France… Being able to share that
with guys, not only team-mates
but friends, players with whom you’ve faced
so many challenges, that you’ve known
for ten years…it’s magical. That’s the beauty of team
sports and of handball. (TWO YEARS AFTER LONDON 2012,) (DIDIER BECOMES HEAD COACH
OF THE FRENCH TEAM.) If you told me at 16
that I’d be the national coach, I would’ve said, “Nonsense!” History has shown that,
through hard work, unlikely things can happen. He’s very generous
and very giving. He reaches out to people, offers his knowledge. That’s why everyone loves him and why the players feel
close to him and respect him. A fraternal player-coach
relationship is essential. We’re a team. We win together,
we lose together. (DIDIER AS COACH.
EUROPEAN CHAMPION 2014.) (WORLD CHAMPION 2015.
OLYMPIC VICE CHAMPION 2016.) (WORLD CHAMPION 2017.) I’m very proud
to have had my career because you should never forget
where you come from. (INAUGURATION OF
THE DIDIER DINART SPORTS ARENA) (WITH THE FRENCH NATIONAL
HANDBALL TEAM IN ATTENDANCE.) Didier Dinart, selected 379
times for the French team… I’m proud to inaugurate
my first sports hall, especially in Guadeloupe. The Didier Dinart Sports Hall! (OPENING MATCH.
FRANCE-DENMARK.) This centre was more or less
closed to everyone but it will allow young people to grow up and practice sports. I know he’s proud
to have brought all this to Guadeloupe, where he lived. Today I can really be a mentor
to young Guadeloupians. I love helping them. (DIDIER DINART IS ONE
OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL (HANDBALL PLAYERS IN HISTORY.) Sports offered a way
for me to be somebody. I threw myself into it
and experienced the greatest sensations
a top athlete could feel. (OLYMPIC CHANNEL
ORIGINAL SERIES.)

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