La Pigni enrolled in the Famedio in Milan: now there is also a book to remember her

Milan celebrates the middle distance runner, a pioneer of blue sport, who died in June. At the presentation of Giuntini’s work, many moving memories

A day in memory of Paola Pigni and in the memory of what she achieved, a pioneer of middle distance and blue sport, not only thanks to the European bronze in Athens 1969 and the Olympic bronze in Munich 1972. Her sudden death, which took place at the age of 75 l Last June 11, many left a profound void.

In Milan

First, in the morning, in the presence of the Mayor Beppe Sala, the registration to the Famedio of the Monumental Cemetery, the only sportswoman along with twenty-three other personalities linked to the Lombard capital: from Milva to Carla Fracci, from Franco Battiato to Gino Strada. Then, in the afternoon, in the Appiani room of the Arena, the stadium where, on 2 July 1969, he set one of his six world records (4’12 “4 in 1500), the presentation of the book” Paola Pigni , liberarsi running ”, written by the sports historian Sergio Giuntini and published by Assital in collaboration with (12 euros, 116 pages).

The memory

Many attendees and many testimonies. Starting from that, full of affection, of Chiara Cacchi, the daughter. “Mom – he said – was not afraid of any challenge, neither on the track nor outside. And without thirteen tendon surgeries he would have done even more. He opened many paths and together with his father (Bruno, a coach who was ahead of his time, ed) he was a perfect storm, an explosive mixture. They were two wonderful parents ”.


To pay tribute also Claudia Giordani, vice president of Coni and former champion of alpine skiing tricolor (“I was ten years younger than her – she recalled – Paola opened many important doors for women’s sport) and the president of Fidal, Stefano Mei:” The world of athletics – he argued – in the post-career certainly should have valued it more. And I still have one regret: as an enthusiast she was, she would certainly have been happy to see our successes at the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately he didn’t have time ”.

The proposal

“It is paradoxical to think how medicine, until 1972, prevented women from running the marathon. Many did not conceive how women could support certain efforts. Paola broke many popular taboos of the time and certain cultural borders. I like to remember how, followed by Enrico Arcelli, one of my teachers, she started with speed. Then, with Cacchi, he introduced many training methods in some ways revolutionary. We would need figures like this so much even today. Indeed, I also launch an invitation to my federation: let’s create more women coaches ”.

The largest

Finally, Giuntini himself, according to whom Pigni was the greatest Italian middle-distance runner. “The yardstick cannot be given only by the chronometric results and the medals won. Paola was much more. And without her all the Gabriella Dorios who followed would not have existed ”.

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La Pigni enrolled in the Famedio in Milan: now there is also a book to remember her