Gran Gala of the snow, Marta Bassino is “Athlete of the year”: “But I won’t stop here …”

The gold bow went to the world champion. Exploit of the year at the Goggia. Silver bow to Paris and De Aliprandini. Legend Award to Gros

Dressed in green, she brought her wonderful smile to the stage of the Alexander Girardi Hall in that Cortina that five months earlier – it was February 16 – had applauded her on the top step of the world podium. The “Golden Ribbon” of Athlete of the Year could only end up in the hands of Marta Bassino, the most coveted prize of the Gran Gala of Snow and Ice, a traditional midsummer event organized by the Gazzetta dello Sport and by the Fisi that sees parading the protagonists of the last season of winter sports: a symbolic witness that launches the blues in the new vintage. And the next one will be worth double, due to the Olympic appointment in Beijing, where the 25-year-old from Cuneo will be one of the heaviest medal cards of the Italian expedition.

new dimension

Not so much because of that gold medal, collected in a specialty – the parallel slalom – which is not part of the five-circle program, but rather because of the new dimension reached in the world firmament, by virtue of the 4 victories in giant with lots of (first) specialty World Cup. A new dimension that does not scare her at all, because it is what she aspired to, and which she is ready to follow up with new and even more prestigious goals. “The gold of Cortina was the icing of a great season”, admits to the microphone of Cristina Fantoni and Kristian Ghedina, brilliant conductors of the evening, applauded by the mayor of Cortina, Gianpietro Ghedina, by Alessandro Benetton, president of Fondazione Cortina 2021, and by Federico Ferraro, Aftersales director of Audi Italia. “A season – adds Marta – in which I lived many moments full of emotions, to the point that it is difficult to choose one in particular. Now I start from here, from what I left. I have recharged myself and I am already working on the Olympic year “.

goggia and moioli

A goal that is then that of all the protagonists of the Cortinese evening. Starting with those who have already experienced the thrill of the gold medal, such as Sofia Goggia, the queen of the downhill in PyeongChang 2018 awarded for the Exploit of the year, that is the conquest of the Downhill Cup despite the injury suffered before the World Championships, and Michela Moioli, who triumphed in snowboard cross three years ago in South Korea and who in Cortina received the “Silver Ribbon” for the two second places at the 2021 World Cup.

Twins

It’s nice to find the two Bergamo-based friends on that stage (“we haven’t seen each other since March, we live 10 kilometers away and we had to go all the way to Cortina to hug each other”, smiles Sofia). It almost seems to relive the curtain that on June 24, 2019 in Lausanne gave – we want to think so – the winning sprint to bring the 2026 Winter Games to Milan-Cortina. “I can’t wait to go back to the gate – proclaims our lady of speed – : I live for all those moments when I wear a bib “. “I always dream big, and if I think of Beijing I’m already loaded by the mill”, »echoes the queen of the tables, ready for another assault too.

Da Gros a Domme

It is clear that those thoughts no longer have them the legendary Piero Gros, who won the Games in slalom in Innsbruck ’76, here awarded as “Legend”. But all the others do. Also because they have not yet crowned the dream of putting gold around their necks in an Olympics. The “Paralympic of the year” Giuseppe Romele, for example, who after athletics and swimming has found new challenges on the snow. Or Dominik Paris, completely different from a year ago, the face more relaxed, given that the knee knockout that stopped him on the eve of Kitzbuehel 2020 is now a very distant memory: his return to success in a 12-month Cup descent after that blow he is rightly awarded the “Silver Ribbon”.

Which also goes to the revelation Luca De Aliprandini, vice-champion of the giant, as well as to the cross-country skier Chicco Pellegrino, king of the sprint World Cup, and to the biathlon superstar Dorothea Wierer, who also won in a “complicated season” like the one after the fantastic 2020; to the ruler of ski mountaineering, Roberto Antonioli, capable of 4 World Cups, and to the winner of the sprint sledding cup Kevin Fischnaller.

ice

From snow to ice: the “Golden Crystal” is finally for the son of art Pietro Sighel, 3 bronzes at the short track World Championships and about to go to the Games 30 years after the first of the 5 times of father Roberto, prince of speed skating, and the “Silver Crystal” for the couple Stefania Constantini-Amos Mosaner, who will bring the Italy of curling to the Games. Cortina calls Beijing: medal-worthy Italy is already on the launching pad.

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Gran Gala of the snow, Marta Bassino is “Athlete of the year”: “But I won’t stop here …”

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