Manuela Di Centa: An Italian Ski-Legend claims 5 medals in Lillehammer | Legends Live on

Manuela Di Centa: An Italian Ski-Legend claims 5 medals in Lillehammer | Legends Live on

What Manuela achieved
at Lillehammer was incredible
and perhaps unrepeatable. I wouldn’t have achieved it
if I had not believed since I was a child, that girls like me
who love cross-country skiing, could achieve great things
in sport. Following Lillehammer, Manuela has left a historic
and indelible mark as an athlete and as a person
closely connected to sport. Manuela Di Centa
is for our nation and for the world of sport,
a legend. (LEGENDS LIVE ON
MANUELA DI CENTA) My first skis were amazing!
I was four years old. My dad made them. Since we were little
Dad used to make us ski. It was like drinking water.
It was very natural. As a family, when it snows
we go skiing. The love of skiing grew within
us. It is part of us. Her games were running,
doing races, climbing trees and doing gymnastics. She never used to play with
dolls. Manuela was a kid
who believed in what she did. She also participated in
running races, not just skiing
competitions. She has always been strong. She always helped me
to chop the firewood rather than her older brother,
Andrea. The first competitors have
started. I watched the Innsbruck
Olympics where I saw the Russians skiing
and I said, “Dad, watch the Russians.” They were going round the bends
like a snowplough. “I want to go faster than them “because I don’t want to
SARAJEVO 1984) My first Olympics, Sarajevo
1984. It was a great experience, that’s where for the first time I saw and met great athletes. I remember in particular
Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi. She won the race in Sarajevo and she overtook me and while she went past I said
to myself, there will come a day
when I will pass you. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
CALGARY 1988) Calgary 1988. I was much better prepared this
time but bad luck comes at the
worst time and just before the Olympics
I caught bronchitis. So my hopes of being able to
compete at my best crumbled little by little, but I was able to compete in the
last race, the 20km freestyle, and I came sixth. Coming sixth in an Olympics
with zero technical preparation led me to think I’m on the
ALBERTVILLE 1992) I turned up to the Olympics
with a big problem, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,
which I’ve always had. However, my sense of
responsibility to my team-mates in the relay made me want to go. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
LILLEHAMMER 1994) In Lillehammer 1994, I said
to myself “Now I’m fit, let’s try and do
things right.” It wasn’t easy to concentrate
for all the races, in fact this period
was very intense for me but my previous experiences
taught me a lot. I studied every bend of that
track. I remember in particular my
trainer telling me in the last kilometre that’s when I had more than a
minute advantage over second place, he told me, “Now you can enjoy
the victory.” However, I told myself,
until I pass the finishing line I can’t enjoy the victory. Only when I saw “Manuela Di
Centa, Italy, gold medal,” did I say, “I’ve made it.” The 30km was the last
race on the programme. I wanted to express myself
in this race in particular because it used the classical
technique pioneered by Nordic skiers. To finish five races without
making any mistakes is an incredible feat, bringing home five medals
of which two were gold is nothing short of amazing. (OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
NAGANO 1998) My last Olympics, Nagano,
Japan 1998. Despite the fact that I had won
a bronze with my team-mates this was the Olympics in which I had planned to say my
farewell. Last medal, last Olympic Games and the last competition
of my sports career. Everything started
from a love of the mountains. I started climbing with Fabio. In 2003, we trained to take
part in the 50th anniversary of the first expedition to
climb Everest. She was the first Italian woman to reach the top of the highest
mountain in the world. I was mostly worried about her
safety. (OLYMPIC GAMES TORINO 2006) Turin 2006. The Olympics at
home, which was a great thing. These Olympics
were very emotional for me because my brother Giorgio won two Olympic medals. That evening my sister was
chosen to present the medals. I was speechless. We hugged each other after I presented my little
brother the gold medal. Good morning, children. I gained a lot as an athlete. I worked hard
but gained a lot from sport. I felt it was my duty
to give something back, having gained much experience. My work with the Italian
Parliament was intense. I’m very proud of an idea
which I championed and now has become a reality. Manuela Di Centa wanted to
create high schools focused on sport in Italy. All subjects in these schools are related to sport in
some way, such as sport economics. I believe that an Olympic
champion has a great responsibility. The best way to demonstrate
this, especially to young people,
is not just through teaching but also by example. My future?
I see it very simply. To be myself in everyday life. To always smile, with my face
and with my heart and to be able to
seize beautiful moments. (LEGENDS LIVE ON)

12 thoughts on “Manuela Di Centa: An Italian Ski-Legend claims 5 medals in Lillehammer | Legends Live on

  1. Вы там все больный пидарасы и клоуны! За Шипулина и Устюгова и Ана ответите, гандоны!!


  3. These are such great videos. I'm binge-watching them all tonight. They're so well done and touching. I don't think I've ever said that about a YouTube video before.

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