Goggia: “I remain restless and go full throttle. And Italy will carry the flag with me”

Sofia freewheeling between the role of standard-bearer at the Games and the season that begins: “Nobody keeps their foot down like I do”

Simone Battaggia

It is the perfect link. Sofia Goggia, Olympic gold medalist in PyeongChang 2018 in descent, protagonist with Michela Moioli of the speech that pushed the 2026 Games towards Milan and Cortina, will be the Italian standard-bearer in the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Games. The official announcement arrives on the eve of Soelden , with Sofia charged up for the return to the race almost nine months after the fracture in the tibial plateau of her right knee that caused her to miss the World Championships in Cortina, but which gave her the strength for an extraordinary recovery already in mid-March, to go to Lenzerheide and take the downhill cup as an athlete. Sofia had been aware of this investiture for months. “When I found out I didn’t tell anyone. Then I told Babi (the skiman Barnaba Greppi, ed), then to Rulfi (elite manager, ed). Me and Michela together? I know that she would have I was pleased to have a role. For the opening, however, Malagò only wanted one character, he wanted me. And then, together, we have already done many things “.

How did you find out from the president of Coni?

“He asked me ‘Where are you on December 23? your diary ‘.’ But are you asking me that thing over there? ‘.’ Oh yes’ “.

“Great, because I am given the opportunity to represent my country in a sporting context but not purely on the track. Being the person who carries that flag through a pole makes me shiver, because at that moment I will be all Italians. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. And excited. I hope to honor Italy both in that moment and every time I put the sticks out of the gate. “

The first is here in Soelden.

“I think I have taken steps in the right direction above all thanks to Marta Bassino, who made me understand how to ski in a giant”.

With Marta you also communicate a lot on social media. Because?

“We are always side by side. We shared everything in the summer, in fact we have a private team. We are the polar opposite of character and this creates unity”.

But Federica Brignone is missing. Is it the same in two or in three?

“It changes little. But I have always said that they are points of reference. Each of us has qualities that the others do not have. The three of us complemented each other. At these levels, however, serenity is important. The technical work counts for me that I am disordered or for Marta who maybe can fix some details, but the priority is to be able to express ourselves to the fullest. I hope Federica has found what she was looking for “.

It seems in the ball. Do you feel that way?

“I’m happy, physically and morally. I liked what Giuseppe Marotta (managing director of Inter, ed) said about Barella: the difference between a player and a champion lies in the ability to increase personal qualities along with those techniques. The life of an athlete is so all-encompassing that improving as a person is difficult. I am consolidating a path that began a year and a half ago. I am restless, but I am more aware of my work “.

How much did last season’s results help you?

“A lot. Downhill I won four times and this made me aware of being head and shoulders above the others. I remember when I looked at the Slovenian Ilka Stuhec and race after race she beat me. Well, last year the others looked at me. Now I know that, apart from a certain speed, few keep their foot down as I do. It comes naturally to me and I’m proud of it, it’s my quality “.

Do you like this Cup with a balanced number of races for each specialty?

“Of course I like it. There are many super-Gs and I consider myself more supergiant than downhill. The descent is better for me because in some respects it is easier, it requires a study that is quite good for me. I do a test and I remember everything. every mistake, every curve, as if so many frames were taken. But it is also true that this year I will be on track every weekend. I read an interesting interview with Alexis Pinturault: according to him, the Cup should be awarded with the scraps, as in biathlon. Are there nine races? Well, you only get the results of the best six. So every now and then you take your breath away. “

Do you think about the general classification?

“We will see in three quarters of the season. If you are in good shape there, then give it a thought. Today, however, I have a lot to improve in the giant, so much potential to express in super-G and so much to confirm downhill. Step by step”.

What if he had to choose an opponent this year?

“Lara Gut. She really is one with the backseat.”

Among other things, the former skiman of Lara Gut has become his.

“Barnaba followed her when I was 17 and she was already winning. I knew he was from Bergamo, so I asked him for skis that I didn’t get. My mother, however, was worried and one day went to ring the bell: ‘Mr. Greppi, tell Sofia that the descent is dangerous, tell her not to do it. ” But no ma’am, your daughter is good … ‘. Then I won the Olympics. Babi is a 63-year-old gentleman but he drives me crazy. It’s part of my strength. “

It comes from the gold of PyeongChang 2018. What mistake to avoid and what will be useful to replicate?

“To avoid is the flight on the Cortina schuss, the involuntary suicide attempt. To replicate the mental approach of those days”.

Why does he say that Olympic gold does not defend itself?

“Because you are only defending something that can be taken away from you, not what will be yours forever. But first there is a race that I would like to win: Garmisch. Beyond the injury, for me it is a cross and a delight”.

How did she restart from that accident?

“I was lucky enough to get hurt in a situation far from what you can find in the race. But now, if I go down after training with the backpack on and there are carryovers, I’m afraid.”

What did recovery give you for Lenzerheide?

“It was a deliberate gamble, I would have been able to keep that race. When I put my skis back on, some coaches told me:” We thought we had a corpse here. “The next day in super-G I went faster than all. Yes, I was afraid , but nobody will give you back a cup “.

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Goggia: “I remain restless and go full throttle. And Italy will carry the flag with me”