One spectacular holiday snapshot was all it took to make the front page: Johannes Sellin sent the pic of his Brazilian girlfriend Julia and himself in Rio. The MT's Facebook team then posted the shot, catching the eye of HNA sports editor Björn Mahr:
The typical Rio visitor, strolling along the beach at Ipanema. He's climbing Sugarloaf Mounting to take a photo of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Enjoying a tour of Maracana Stadium. Taking advantage of a local's insiders tips and heading up the Pedra do Telegrafo for a lovely view. The handball pro from Bundesliga club MT Melsungen visited the family of his partner Julia's family in Rio de Janeiro, and during his stay scaled the 335 meter peak south west of Olympia Stadium.
No easy ascent. We needed at least 40 minutes", Sellin declared. There's no aerial tram or other transportation. When the reached the top, the pair did as so many tourists before them have done: take an unforgettable snapshot. The viewer has the impression that the national player is playing the hero, offering to give his beloved a smooch despite the vertigo-inducing heights. Actually an optical illusion, as the terrain below the stone actually isn't all that steep. "That's not all that much behind the thing", the Melsungen right wing noted of his snapshot that was posted to the MT Facebook page. He certainly would have loved to visit Sugarloaf Mountain again in the coming weeks. But Nation Coach Dagur Sigurdsson planned his Olympic squad without the lefty.
For the past few years it's been standard practice for handball Bundesliga players to post cute photos from their holidays on their club's website. MT captain Michael Müller and Jeffrey Boomhouwer recently posted snaps from Canada and Gran Canaria, respectively. On 20 July the North Hesse team will hold its first PR appointments to kick off the pre-season.
But before then, Johannes Sellin will first make a quick trip back to his home town on the island of Usedom. Will he send a photo from there too? He'll need different inspiration, since he's unlikely to find mountains like those in Rio on Germany's Baltic coast.
Impressive all the same: This view shows how Johannes Sellin and his girlfriend Julia aren't really in harm's way on the Pedra do Telegrafo. (B. Mahr, HNA, 12/7/16)