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Fencing Great Valentina Vezzali’s Latest Fight | Legends Live On

Fencing Great Valentina Vezzali’s Latest Fight | Legends Live On

From Italy, Valentina Vezzali! Valentina changed the way
we see women’s sports in Italy. Valentina is exceptional because even as a kid,
she was competitive. Winning a week after
her father’s death… You need to be really strong. I absolutely wanted to take part in the Olympics and become number one. After the Olympics in London,
in March 2013, I joined the Parliament. I was asked to serve my country using the experience
I’d gained in the sports world. Deputy Vezzali has the floor. Throughout this term,
we’ve often discussed sports… I fought to protect
female athletes who decide to become mothers,
for their social protection. I finished my mandate and joined the police sports division –
the Fiamme d’Oro. I’m in charge of the youth branch. Yes, that’s it. You must immediately drop
if you want to counter-parry. I hope to always have more athletes who
practise fencing. In Jesi, I was able to grow up with a group of young foilists
who trained hard and wanted to win. The founder of
Jesi’s fencing club, Maestro Ezio Triccoli, managed to bring out
the best of our abilities. I arrived at the club in 1989. She was this tiny little girl. I thought, “This kid
is strong and brave.” Taking lessons
from Giulio or Maestro Triccoli was fun and easy. I participated in
my first competitions. I started almost immediately
to win, and Daddy began to lavish me
with attention. In Venice, in 1988,
my father accompanied me to a competition.
I remember, all afternoon, he spent his time sleeping
and coughing. My husband was sick. He he’d spoken with
Maestro Triccoli. He said, “Vezzali, don’t worry,
Valentina will be very famous. “I guarantee it, if
she continues like this!” He was so happy. It was like he was leaving
a part of himself. One week later, Valentina won her first
youth world title. Returning to the club,
to the strip, to training sessions, it was all a way to keep
my father alive. My dad was there
when I trained, my dad was there to support me. I could feel he was near me. Valentina’s strength
is her fragility. Her confidence on the strip, which pushes her to win, is the opposite of
who she is as a person. In 1999, the year
before Sydney, I won my first
World Championship. From the moment
I won my first world title, I was ready to
win the Olympics. I was aware of my strength
and, with Giulio at my side, I was able to take
whatever I wanted. After the Sydney Games, I became aware of my strength
and my value and winning was even
easier than before! In 1999, I met Mimmo,
my husband. I fell head over heels
in love with him. That allowed me to set
my sights on the 2004 Olympics. From Italy, Valentina Vezzali! From Italy, Giovanna Trillini! Competing in a final against Giovanna Trillini was
very emotional, like a party. We had an intense rivalry… Ever since we were kids, we went to the same club
and played each other. As a kid, Giovanna
was like a model to me. It was an incredible feeling. After winning gold, I declared to the world
I was going to be a mother. And four months after
the birth of Pietro, I couldn’t believe it myself, I had the gold medal
around my neck. I had just won my fourth
World Championship! (BEIJING 2008) She was desperate to win
her third gold. All eyes were on her, because she was the great
figure of these Olympics. When you put on the mask and your tension turns
into determination, everything becomes possible. When she won in Beijing
and I kissed her… ..I was very, very moved. That third gold medal sent her
into another dimension. She was even more famous, beyond those who already
knew her for her achievements. Italy! At 37, one of my other dreams
came true – being the flag-bearer
for the Azzura delegation. The opening ceremony was
the day before the fencing. She had a hard time
all day long. She made it to the semifinals against her team-mate
Arianna Errigo. It was very hard moment
for me… Getting back on the strip
for a bronze medal after losing the chance
to win gold was very hard. I stopped caring. I wanted it to end
as quickly as possible. And then there was
this yelling from the stands. “The shoulder! The shoulder!” She knew how to strike
the shoulder. I yelled, “The shoulder!” She did it a first time… ..then a second time… ..a third time… They were yelling,
“Go, Valentina!” I got up and started
yelling, too! I’m convinced that, right then, the hands of Maestro Triccoli
and my father were guiding mine and allowed me to
accomplish a small miracle. I think, of all her competitions, that was her most beautiful. The most heartfelt
and most beautiful.

14 thoughts on “Fencing Great Valentina Vezzali’s Latest Fight | Legends Live On”

  1. Very emotional story, that moment when she won the semifinal was a spiritual moment to her, the thanks Olympics to show this beautiful story.

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