Nikola Karabatic is 40 years old: Olympics, “legend” and family, the striking declarations of a total champion

How many active athletes are thinking of going for an Olympic gold medal as they celebrate their 40th birthday? What is certain is that they are rare. Very rare. Even LeBron James is only 39 years old, he will celebrate his 40th birthday in December. Nikola Karabatic celebrates his 40th birthday this April 11.

To honor his extraordinary career and while he will retire from the stage in a few months, perhaps on the evening of a new Olympic final, we have chosen, to celebrate his four decades of existence, to remember 10 numbers, 10 images, 10 of his sentences and 10 tributes from his loved ones. The few quotes from the champion that we have retained are clear: Nikola Karabatic assumes his status as a very great champion.

“This season will be my last and I wanted to write to you”

August 25, 2023 on his social networks. On this Friday at the end of August, Nikola Karabatic chooses to deliver himself the information that many anticipate and for some fear. The 2023-2024 season is the last of his immense career. It had started with the century, more than two decades earlier.

“If I have to go to the Olympics in Paris, it’s because I will have earned my place”

January 30, 2023 in the mixed zone after the lost World Cup final. His last seasons were weighed down by injuries and health problems. Foot pain hampered his final World Cup in Sweden. At the time, he did not want to participate in Paris 2024 for his CV but for what he could still bring to the Blues. He never changed his mind.

“My family is the most important thing to me”

June 24, 2012 in the Team. Nikola Karabatic has always conceived his career as a family. Very close to his parents, he played for his brother Lika for more than 10 years, notably since 2105 at PSG. Dad of two boys, he organizes his personal schedule around them. It’s his priority.”

“I’m 24, I have ten years left to win all the titles”

August 25, 2008, in Beijing, the evening of the France – Iceland Olympic final. The first time is always the best. A three-time Olympic champion, Karabatic won his first gold medal in China. He won two others in London and Tokyo but he did not think on the evening of this final that his career would be so long. He thought he would stop at around 35. 16 years after Beijing, it is still there.

“At the World Cup, you represent your sport, at the Games, you represent your country”

January 2, 2012, in Le Parisien. With everything he has won, Nikola Karabatic’s career will still remain associated with the Olympic Games. Like Michaël Guigou and Luc Abalo, he won them 3 times, making him a world record holder in team sports with a few others. He also returned from Brazil in 2016 with silver and can go for a fourth gold medal in Lille. Amazing.

“I feel French but also Croatian and Serbian”

July 5, 2012, in the Team. 40 years ago, he was born in Nis which was then still in Yugoslavia, today in Serbia. His father was Croatian, his mother is Serbian. His mother tongue is Serbo-Croatian. He arrived in France at the age of 4 to become a symbol of France which is winning. Speaking French as well as Serbo-Croatian, German, Spanish and English, he also played his career in Germany and Spain.

“I have never changed my position in the betting affair, I have always proclaimed my innocence”

October 4, 2013, in the Team. The only “task” in his exemplary career remains the betting affair linked to the fixed Cesson-Montpellier match in May 2012 which sentenced him to two months in prison and a fine of 10,000 euros. She has a criminal record, which prevents her from being standard bearer of the French delegation for Paris 2024 in 2024.

“The only thing that made me happy was winning titles and breaking records”

March 29, 2024, in Le Parisien. How to win again when you have already won everything? Nikola Karabatic must have asked himself this question often in the last years of his career. Why go back to training to win a trophy you already have? He found the solution in pleasure alone. He is no longer chasing a medal but enjoying the joy of still being on the field.

“Protecting the environment is one of the causes that are close to my heart”

April 13, 2023, in Le Parisien. The handball player is a champion. The man is a committed citizen who fights for a cause: the defense of the environment; It is in these fights that he intends to engage, in particular, once his career with a sticky ball is over. It will be in a few weeks.

“I tried to be one of the legendary champions like Zidane, Parker or Riner”

August 24, 2023, in the Team. It will be time, after the end of the Olympic Games, to find a place for Nikola Karabatic in the pantheon of French sport. Considered the best handball player of all time, he is obviously the equal of the greatest in other sports with more media coverage than his own. He is and will remain one of the greatest champions in the history of French sport, forever.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *