SAS Australia delivered one of the most powerful episodes on Tuesday, September 28, when the celebrity recruits admitted what they were most ashamed of. While former tennis star, Mark Philippoussis, was once at the top of his game, his greatest regret was not being able to provide for his family.
“Family’s my world. It’s my priority. My everything. I had a dream to become a professional tennis player and my family put everything on the line,” Mark told his fellow recruits and DS Ant Middleton.
“My father had a good job in the bank business and quit because he said he wanted to help me fulfil my dreams — so he let go of his dreams and I worked very hard and I was lucky enough to fulfil my dreams.”
The 44-year-old admitted that while the “good news” was that he “could take care of his family”, after injury “everything stopped”.
“When you’re an athlete, the last thing you want to think about … They always say, ‘Save for a rainy day’. And I feel like you’re weak if you feel like you might get injured and you have to have something to back up to — that’s a sign of weakness.
“You can’t think that way because you’ve got to keep going, you’ve got to get back from injuries and you’re going to be OK.”
After his sixth knee surgery in 2009, Mark was unable to even afford to buy groceries.
“I was out for a few months,” he revealed. I couldn’t afford much, actually. I had to ask friends just to shop for food.”
“We would always, just, for seven days in a row we’d have this cabbage pasta that ends up being one of my favourites but my mum calls it ‘poor people’s food’ because it’s so simple, it’s just cabbage with some spices and pasta.
“I felt very much ashamed because they gave their dream for me and my responsibility was to look after them. I was in a dark place and had depression. There’s no greater pain in my heart than watching my loved ones suffer because of my actions.”
Elsewhere in the series, Mark had admitted that he would spend insane amounts of money just because he had it. A very humbling experience, indeed.
Catch SAS Australia on Channel 7 and 7Plus.
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