Peter Graf, father of the tennis player Steffi, also directed his daughter's life from a very young age, putting a racket in her hand when she was just three years old. He followed every step of her career as a professional, until he got her in trouble when he was imprisoned for tax evasion. Strangely enough, without such an oppressive father and master, Steffi Graf would probably not have become one of the strongest tennis players in history and would not have even met (and then married) Andre Agassi. The first meeting of Andre and Steffi is explained in the biography.
Father and son: love and hate
Think of Marc Girardelli, probably the greatest skier in history, who sacrificed the first thirty-three years of his life for skiing. At the age of five he was on the slopes and two years later he was already involved in the first races, always followed by his father, who came to terms with the Austrian federation for the disagreement on the training methods of his son. Helmut Girardelli wanted to be the only person responsible for the career of little Marc and so he denied Austria to have it compete with the Luxembourg flag. But their relationship was symbiotic, just the two against everyone, given the absence of any other support staff. Only the father, the son and a van that travelled virtually any mountain road in the Alps.
Sport, a question of genetics?
Damon Hill, on the other hand, was a serene, wealthy 15-year-old with a famous father until he died in a plane crash. Graham Hill was one of the strongest drivers in motorsport history, the only one to have won what is known as the Triple Crown, a Formula One World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 Miles and the Le Mans 24 Hours. After his death, his son Damon grew up with a kind of moral obligation to continue his father's feat, also winning an F1 world title at any cost
It was difficult to separate the pure me from the wounded boy determined to relive his father's life to exorcise that shocking loss. During my career I've always been confused: I didn't know if I was really a driver or someone who had been given a mission to complete before I could become my true self.
The many stories of football
Those who have always been present in their son's sporting career are Graziano Rossi, Valentino's father and driver in the world championships in the early eighties. Even though he didn't win more than a few races, he indirectly prepared the ideal environment for the sporting growth of Valentino, who has been in contact with two wheels practically since birth and who over the years has always maintained a good relationship with his father. Because the truth is that the most difficult job in the world is that of the parent. There are many more possibilities of doing damage than good things and you can never lower your guard. But what really counts in the end is believing in your children, regardless of their talents, because all children need is love, smiles and warmth, even if they are destined to become champions.