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August 21, 2004

Paola Suarez

Patricia Tarabini


THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.

Q. Girls, can you tell us how you feel after having won this medal?

PAOLA SUAREZ: Of course, I'm incredibly happy. Yesterday was a pretty awful day for us having been on the court and having had those problems. But we overcame that and we won the medal now.

PATRICIA TARABINI: I started the day, to tell the truth, very, very badly. I had a problem with my shoes, my sneakers (laughter). I had some pain. I didn't feel very good. This morning in the warm-up, I didn't know whether I would be able to serve well or not. But we managed to come through.

Q. Yesterday in the press conference, you really looked sad. What did you do to really get your spirits up, which was the key? Having heard you yesterday, I thought it would be very difficult, not for matters of technique or tactics, but really because of how you felt.

PATRICIA TARABINI: Yes, it was very strange what we felt yesterday. It really was the match in which we spoke about tactics the least of all, I would say. I really didn't feel very good in my head, I mean. But Paola told me that, "We are here. Not very many people have this opportunity to actually win a medal." I think I needed someone to give me this support, this emotional sport. Physically, I was okay, but really she gave me the support that I needed, the push that I needed (laughter).

Q. Patty, when we spoke earlier before the start of the tournament, you said that maybe with a medal you would be able to retire and would be satisfied.

PATRICIA TARABINI: Yes, I still think that way. Yes, I will retire.

Q. So with this bronze medal, you definitely achieved your dream?

PATRICIA TARABINI: Yes. I think the only chance I had of winning a medal was by playing with Paola. I'm very proud of it. It's a great achievement. She's always very positive. I really admire her. Thank you, Paola, for being there with me.

Q. Paola, would you like to say something to Patricia?

PAOLA SUAREZ: No. We've already spoken. I spoke to her a lot before coming here. I think we have had a lot of fun here. I think that really it was great to fight the way we fought yesterday. It wasn't really our day, but we still fought today. We had another chance after the day we had yesterday. I knew that she wasn't feeling very good, and I really tried to pick up her spirits a little bit. She reacted in the right way. Today, we managed.

Q. Many athletes say that an Olympic medal is the best thing that can happen to you in a sporting career.

PAOLA SUAREZ: Well, for me it's the most amazing thing to represent your country in this great event which only takes place every four years. I mean, it's not something that happens every week. It's extremely important.

Q. Do you know what, from now on, it will mean for you to have entered into the history of Argentinian sports? You're really one of the very few Argentinians who have won an Olympic medal. Very select company.

PATRICIA TARABINI: Yes. Paola told me that she's extremely happy. Of course, we wanted to win gold or silver. But, again, as you said, very few people have had this historic victory. At the age of 36, having achieved this and retired, I'm very proud, especially to have done it for my country.

Q. Yesterday the Argentinian coaches of various sports were asking how you did. In fact, they reacted very angrily when they heard the result. How did they react in the Olympic village?

PAOLA SUAREZ: They were very positive. The basketball and the volleyball, they were very supportive. They said that we should really fight for the bronze. I think I'm very shy personally, and it's very important for me to feel the support of all the other athletes. It's a great group. I mean, all sports combined. I really felt the tremendous camaraderie and bond with all the others.

Q. And this spirit of the Olympic Games, would you like to see it in the tennis circuit, which is very different, very individualistic?

PAOLA SUAREZ: Yes, I was just talking about that with one of the field hockey players. It's really different for us to be in a group. Yes, tennis is very individualistic. We met other athletes who are more used to this kind of camaraderie. We're not very used to it. Of course, it would be very wonderful to have this in the sport. I always said it would be great to play on a team sport. Yes, I think it's a great thing.

Q. Patricia, the other day you said it was the first time in your career that you were really on the verge of crying because you had muscular pain. I think now you think it was probably worth it, wasn't it?

PATRICIA TARABINI: Yes. Today I have to say it really was worth it. I'm very grateful to many people: my physical coach, Gisella helped me, and some of the other people I trained with. And Paola, too, for having pushed me and giving me the chance. It really was worth it. I have to say to the people, especially the younger people, that if they really want something, they can achieve it if they fight for it.

Q. Did you ever think today at any point, when you thought of achieving the bronze, did you think about winning the bronze or did you just say, "I'm going to get to the court and we'll see what happens"? I mean, did you become more and more confident as the game went on, or did you think this way even before the start of the game?

PATRICIA TARABINI: Well, after yesterday, as Paola said, we were with some of the other athletes. Las Leonas, Vanind, Magdalena. They told me they understood my feelings, they understood, because they'd gone through it. Then I wasn't feeling very good. But today maybe at the beginning, I wasn't that great. But by the middle of the match when Paola told me we were there because technically we were a little stronger, but it's just a matter of -- it's just a matter of being mentally tough, well, then I started serving well. There were strange feelings. I can't really tell you, explain it. But really this feeling that you represent the country and that a whole country is expecting something great of you, this is the first time I've ever felt this.

Q. Do you think that this game, is it worth to have a game for the bronze medal, or is it better like it was before, to have two bronze medal winners? How do you play in a game for the bronze medal?

PAOLA SUAREZ: Yes, it's a little different. We were saying three get medals, but the fourth not. The one that doesn't is, of course, it's horrible. But, I mean, in every sport, there's three medals, so why should it be four?

Q. In one sport there is.

PAOLA SUAREZ: Well, I like the way it is now. I mean, it's great to have lost a game and then have a chance to compete in another one.

Q. Patricia, are there any games in your career - there is one that many don't know about - but would you like to tell us something about some game, memorable game in particular?

PATRICIA TARABINI: Well, yes, of course the most important one was maybe I didn't fully always realize how important it is, how great it is to be a professional. Maybe for not having been more professional in my career. I think this is the main sort of problem that I had in my career. In doubles, I played well, but in singles, I think that was my main sort of drawback, I would say the main thing that I regret.

Q. Paola, are you going to watch the final of Virginia tomorrow in the grandstands?

PAOLA SUAREZ: Yes, of course I'm going to be there. I just wrote her a message, a text message, to play well against the Chinese. She congratulated me for having won, so I hope they win tomorrow. They're going to play -- it's going to be a tough match. I mean, we'll see. It's the only day we have free, but perhaps we're going to go and see some of our teammates playing. We'll see. I don't know if I will go because I didn't see any of the other matches, and she won, so maybe I could bring her bad luck. Maybe we'll win something finally.

Q. Girls, I'd like to ask you if you would like to dedicate this medal to anyone.

PATRICIA TARABINI: To my mother, to my brothers and sisters, my family, to Argentina. Really, I think I understood what a wonderful country I have. I've traveled around the world, and perhaps I understood only today that I truly love my country. And to my dad, of course, who unfortunately isn't with us.

PAOLA SUAREZ: I obviously also would like to dedicate this to my country, to everyone who enjoyed this victory, and obviously to my coach, Dani, Fito, my physical trainer, who did so much to prepare me for this, to get me into the right physical level, and my family.

Q. Are you really happy? You don't seem happy. Of course I can see the emotions. You're completing your career or maybe you're thinking about the final which you're not going to play in. Maybe you would have wanted to feel this earlier, this pride in being Argentinian.

PATRICIA TARABINI: Of course I'm happy. I think when the game finished, I really realized it. When the year started, I was thinking of winning a medal. I was saying at the beginning any medal would be great. No, I think I'm happy, but of course I would have liked to have taken -- I would have liked to have won a silver or gold medal, that's clear. That's obvious.

Q. We were waiting for you, but you already had doping at the village before the start of the games.

PATRICIA TARABINI: As for the doping control, if the result is positive, I'm going to commit suicide (laughter), because it would mean the end of my career. I mean, with blood samples, they already took my blood sample. Over there by the court, there are urine samples.

End of FastScripts….

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