In a telling and often moving chat a few years ago with American talk-show host David Letterman, Alex Zanardi discussed his then upcoming challenge—an Ironman Competition. Asked whether he feared the prospect of possible sharks lurking in the water during the swimming section, the endearingly self-deprecating and always forward-looking sports great replied that the shark would most probably look up and swim away, deciding that he was not worth the trouble.
In the last two decades, specialised magazines including “Surfer” have been clueing in their readers on the possibility of practising surf in Italy. A global perspective may merely address the information as a “diversion for amateurs,” as none have ever heard about riding waves and surfboards on the Italian shores.
It is a bright early July day. On a dusty mountain track fringed by fir trees and leading to a pass in the French Alps 2,600 metres above sea level, two men are struggling, pushing, panting. Their sweat has dried on their faces etching masks of effort and pain.
Beatrice “Bebe” Maria Vio, the most popular Italian wheelchair fencer, is a living example of how a terrible misfortune can be transformed into a glorious destiny.
In 1934, Nino Borsari landed for the first time in Australia to compete in the Centenary 1000: a cycle race that was part of the Centenary of Victoria celebrations. He didn’t know he was shaping his future and the history of the bicycle trade in Melbourne. Several other European and international cycling champions came to race over the seven stages, covering 1,773 km, but none of them stood out from the others. Borsari won two sprints in Ararat and Ballarat and finished 5th overall.