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Rossella Fiamingo

Rossella FiamingoRossella Fiamingo, born on the 14th of July, 1991 in Catania, Sicily, Italy is a world class épée fencer. A two-time world individual champion who also earned a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Fiamingo learned ballet and rhythmic gymnastics as a child. She took up fencing when she was seven at the instigation of her father, who already drove her brother to a nearby fencing school - AS Methodos Catania.

She was taught by Gianni Sperlinga, who remains her personal coach still today. In 2004, she was selected into the cadet Italian national team.

She won the 2007 Cadet European Championships in Novi Sad, then the 2008 Cadet World Championships at home, in Acireale.

She earned both the individual and team gold medals in 2009 and 2010 at the Junior European Championships, then she won the 2010 European U23 Championships in Gdańsk.

Fiamingo joined the national senior team in the 2010–11 season. At the 2011 European Championships in Sheffield she reached the quarter-finals, where she was defeated by teammate Nathalie Moellhausen.

The next season she climbed her first World Cup podium with a bronze medal in Doha, followed by a gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Rossella FiamingoQualified to the 2012 Summer Olympics with the team, she was defeated 14 - 15 in the quarter-finals of the individual event by China's Sun Yujie.

In the team event, Italy was defeated in the first round by the United States, then lost to Romania in the ranking matches and ended by finishing seventh.

In the 2013–14 season Fiamingo won the World Championships, defeating along the way Olympic champions Yana Shemyakina and Britta Heidemann.

Rossella won again the women's individual épée at the 2015 world championships in Moscow to become the first woman to win back-to-back world titles in this event since Laura Flessel-Colovic of France did in 1998–1999.

Fiamingo joined Flessel-Colovic (1998 and 1999) and Mariann Horvath of Hungary in 1991 and 1992, as the only women with multiple world titles in this event.

This was the third gold medal for Italy in this event, equaling France and Hungary for the most wins. In the 2014–2015 season she also won the world cup. Fiamingo has a degree in pianoforte and studies nutrition at the University of Catania.

Rossella Fiamingo from Catania and a crystalline talent of the blue sword granted OA Sports an exclusive interview back in 2012.

Were you able to sleep after the fantastic victory you earned in Rio de Janiero?

Rossella Fiamingo“After the victory in Rio it was difficult to fall asleep, I still felt the adrenaline and I wanted to think back to the fantastic day I had lived."

"I wanted it to never end that May 5th! The day after, however, we had the team competition and so I tried to rest but even with all my effort I didn't succeed very much! "

Rossella always watches videos of her matches or her opponents in any competition she has coming.

“The day before the live shows we know who we have to shoot with so I immediately call my teacher Gianni Sperlinga and send him the youtube link where he can see my opponent pull and between exchanges of calls, messages and emails we make the situation clear."

"I prefer to show the videos to him because I dwell too much on the details and when I find myself in the race I am slowed down because I always think that the opponent can do me all the actions that I have seen her do in more attacks."

"I trust my notes a lot - I have a notebook where I write everything and I often meet the same people again; I send everything to Gianni! Yes, this is all the traffic I do every time, but only for the first meeting because I don't like looking ahead, I prepare one assault at a time ”.

“The first major international success was the victory at the under 17 Europeans in Serbia - it was unexpected!"

"I still remember when I called my father to tell him that I had won because he always asked me the same question: did you win ??"

Rossella FiamingoThen in the under 17 world championship in 2008, a year after the European championship, I won with the home crowd. It was a unique emotion!"

"I got into fencing because my brother started before me - I watched him for a few years and from his wins and losses I learned something that I then put into practice later on."

"At 6 years old my father took me to the fencing master (at that time I was already doing rhythmic gymnastics at methodos) but I had to wait a year before starting because Gianni said I was too small and thin".

Your historical rival in the youth categories, Brenda Briasco, has just won the Italian under 23 title. Do you think the duel can also be repeated in the World Cup?

“When we were little we always met in the final and then we met again in the under 20 world final in Acireale!"

"I am sure that in addition to the past and present we will meet again in the future to compete in even more important competitions."

"If she still does not shine in international competitions it is only because she has not had many opportunities to participate in absolute competitions."

"I'm sure it will be fun soon! Besides being strong she is also an excellent teammate”. How important was Maestro Giovanni Sperlinga in your growth in the sport?"

Rossella Fiamingo“The teacher is a fundamental part, without him the athlete doesn't go anywhere. He continues to make me grow as an athlete and I make him grow as a teacher"

"It is a path that can be traveled in two and if we continue to grow it is thanks to the trust and the relationship that has been created."

"He has a great ability to read the assault and has managed to convey this great quality to me too; this is why I am able to think for myself, even though he is often not at the bottom of the winners platform".

"AS Methodos Catania is a model company that competes at the highest national levels, churning out many talents. Want to know what are the secrets of this success?"

“It is no coincidence that our company is called Methodos which from the Greek means: continuous and recurring search for the most effective and coherent“ way ”to reach a specific goal."

"My teacher has a teaching method that is the same for everyone and this makes us all similar. It is no coincidence that I do the same number of lessons as the others and many exercises are done in pairs among classmates - whoever listens to the letter to what the teacher says goes on - easy, isn't it? "

Another passion of yours is playing the piano. Did your passion for music or fencing come first?

Rossella Fiamingo“I started at the same time but I was more and more enthusiastic about fencing. I like to show off on the platform and show what I'm capable of doing."

"But the piano is where I am afraid to play in public, it is more a personal pleasure that I exploit to find tranquility outside the winners platform".

Giovanna Trillini and Valentina Vezzali were among the first to congratulate on the success. Are you planning to pursue a career as long as theirs or do you have other goals for the future?

“I will continue as long as the sport is still fun, I really don't know when I think about quitting. Right now a life without fencing seems empty to me despite having many interests and never standing still ”.

When will the trio that will take part in the individual Olympic competition be announced?

"The summons will be officially known on June 6".

The Municipality of Sant'Agata Li Battiati has awarded you the title of City Ambassador of Sport at the London Olympics; to become an honorary citizen you have to win a medal, do you think you can already do it in London?

“I can hope so. So far my goal has been to qualify for the Olympics. For the team everything is clear from the test in Barcelona, where we qualified mathematically with seventh place.

We are a compact team with strong individuals (3 Italians in the top 16), there is not one of us who can be defined as a reserve - all the teams fear us ”.

Rossella FiamingoSport takes you high, if you are lucky and if you work with the right desire : sport can take you high."

"When this happens, however, you stop being just yourself and become, in addition to that, also someone everyone wants a piece of , someone who walks in the spotlight , whether it is night or day."

"Whether you like it or not, whether you decide to ride it or not everyone seems to care about your steps and, most of all, your stumbles."

"At first I suffered a lot from it. I suffered from every bad word written by every person in every comment. I suffered because, basically, I did not understand the reason."

"When I was a child and I looked at the greats of my sport, I found myself admiring them after defeats, after burns and falls at least as much as I did after their victories, perhaps even more."

"Isn't it wonderful that one's myth also knows how to prove itself human? As a sportswoman I have never jumped on foot level a mountain, but I built my path step by step, to get close to the top, yet many seem to be interested only in the possible fall."

"My life, at least since I remember it, has always been marked by the alternation of school, music and the winners platform, as in an infinite succession of freedom and fatigue."

"Half butterfly and half ant."

Rossella Fiamingo"The effort for training and the effort for studying have always given me very different sensations, yet somehow indivisible: yin and yang , sweet and salty."

"Necessary, beautiful and complementary but, as with sleep and wakefulness, they can never appear together."

"Back from competitions, especially those that went badly, I find solace in making my fingers dance over the piano keys to regain the harmony of my personal strings, to transform my crazy heartbeat back into a precise linear pentagram."

"But the opposite also works, especially when I was younger: after a day spent with books studying or playing, getting on the platform was the only thing capable of reconnecting me with my body, with movement: it was freeing my mask more intimately than that happy cage."

"A shock of new energy inside a body that has drained it all to study, in a constant cycle. I have often felt like an hourglass , full of energy and not sand, made half of one thing and half of another."

"If one side is full then the other must be empty and when one of the two funnels has been empty for too long then it must be turned quickly or the sand dries up and becomes stone and it would make me no longer be me."

"Physical release and concentration in permanent equilibrium generated by the absolute lack of what is in between. But then, as we grow up , everything changes."

Change in sudden manner while being a gradual process, because it occurs a bit at a time but you you realize all of fail.

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