To dream, to sweat, to shout, to cry, to smile and to grow…
For some it will seem like a list of randomly selected verbs, for others, who have maybe tried even just once to be an athlete, to train and to compete, in those words a whole world is contained, a piece of our lives.
Taking part in sports at a high level gives you so much but also takes away so much from you.
Giorgia, Pietro and Matteo know this feeling well, their lives have changed since that first competition, that great game of aiming to be the best has opened a whole new world where every day they can grow to try and reach the “TOP”.
School finished a few months ago and for Giorgia, Pietro and Matteo a long “summer in the vertical” has begun, what a better way to start it than with the trials for both the European Cup and Championships.
Giorgia was awarded with the title of European U16 Boulder Champion and Matteo finished the competition in third place. An equally great start for Pietro who stepped up onto the top spot of the podium in the European Bouldering Cup. Before the major event at the end of the summer arrives, which is the Youth World Cup in Arco, we heard from them to try to find something out about this beautiful world, the world of competitions.
Where did your passion for competitions come from?
Matteo: The passion for competitions was born thanks to my dad who took me the first few times to the provincial and promotional competitions. Thanks to these competitions, the desire to improve was born in me, which then lead to participating in the regional and national circuits.
Pietro: My passion for competitions began almost immediately. For a child it is important to confront and compete with their peers, and also in my gym there weren’t many kids my ages, they were all older than me and more experienced, and so the managers of the gym and my parents signed me up for my first competition.
Giorgia: I start going to competitions when the Posto di Blocco (the climbing gym and society where I train) opened a sports group. After a few months, I was already in love with the environment and also with all the emotions and feelings that you only know about if you take part in competitions. I met so many people that share the same passion and we are all still friends, I meet them at every competition and it’s always a pleasure for me.
Do you have a particular memory from your first competition?
Matteo: I don’t have a particular memory from my first competition, however, I definitely remember my first victory. It was a round of the provincial championship and of course, I still have that beautiful trophy.
Pietro: My first competition was in Turin and it was a great experience. I was totally unprepared and didn’t even know all the “rules”. It was a team game and despite the outcome I had so much fun and I met a lot of new friends with whom I still meet at competitions now.
Giorgia: I remember my first competition, it was a regional competition and I was 10 years old. But the competition of that year that has stuck with me, as if it were the first was the playoffs in Milan in which I participated to qualify for the Italian Championships in Sassuolo. The satisfaction of passing the qualifier, the effort paid off and the feeling of anxiety that vanished as soon as I started climbing have been the motivating forces that convinced me that competitions would become part of my future in climbing.
In which of the three disciplines (lead, boulder and speed) can you express yourself better?
Matteo: In this period, I have particularly dedicated myself to the discipline of bouldering, one of the reasons is the fact that where I live there are no facilities for the discipline of lead climbing.
Pietro: Well, I think I defend myself well in lead climbing, but also in the discipline of bouldering. For now, I want to try to compete in both and in the future, we will see. The discipline of speed climbing I will leave to the sprinters, I am not very interested in this discipline.
Giorgia: I have a lot of fun in both lead climbing and bouldering, I see both the disciplines as a way to do what I like. However, , at least for this year I have focused on the discipline of bouldering because I really like the dynamic movements, pure strength and style of climbing and I think it suits me.
For some years now you are part of the National Sport Climbing Youth Team, how do you live this experience?
Matteo: I joined the National Youth Team at the end of the summer in 2013 in the U16 category. It is a fantastic experience and I am very proud to be part of it. Although it is an individual sport, being in the Nationals makes me feel part of a team, where we all support and motivate each other. Another important aspect is to have the opportunity to meet boys and girls from other countries who share the same passion as me.
Pietro: It is an amazing thing to wear the blue t-shirt and represent Italy. Competing firstly for Italy and secondly for you and your parents. This also involves a degree of responsibility not in the results but above all in your behaviour.
Giorgia: It’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I got to know and compare myself with many girls from other countries and to climb in different styles, but above all I have become part of a group of fantastic people with whom I get to share my experiences. Being part of the National Team has been a great stimulus for me and of course a pride.
You will be protagonists at the major event of the Youth World Cup in Arco. How are you preparing yourself and what are you expecting?
Matteo: Of course this is the objective from all of the training to which I devoted myself with perseverance and dedication. I think for every athlete, participating at this event is one of the biggest desires to aspire to. I will definitely give it my best and play all the cards in my hand. What am I expecting? I will reply with a question: What athlete doesn’t dream of being on the podium?
Pietro: In the World Championships in Arco I will try to give it my all, to have fun and finally, I admit that I wouldn’t mind a place in the final or on the podium. The rest is up to me!
Giorgia: All year I have been preparing for this event, I know that there will be many strong athletes competing but I am going with the objective of giving it my best and I hope that my sacrifices pay off and get me to the top spot on the podium, which is my dream!