The 19-year-old from Merano brought Italy back to the men’s podium of the Figure Grand Prix two years after Rizzo. “I was not very elegant, but with training … And I make an appointment in Milan-Cortina 2026”
Before him only Matteo Rizzo, third at the NHk Trophy 2018 in Hiroshima and at the Cup of China 2019 in Chongqing. Daniel Grassl, third at the Italian Grand Prix in Turin, on Saturday brought the blue skates back to the men’s podium of a stage of the Figure Grand Prix, the World Cup of the discipline. A sign that the talent of the 19-year-old policeman from Merano stationed in Egna is also confirmed at the senior level and that the tricolor movement, at least among men, is in excellent health. Also in view of the Beijing Olympics, less than three months from the start.
Second in the short program, third in the free: satisfied with the final placement that comes after the 7th place centered at Skate America, in Las Vegas, two weeks earlier?
“It is the first season that I compete only in the absolute category: getting on the podium made me happy. Also because, before the free ride, I had some intestinal problems “.
In that program he proposed three quadruples and seven triples, which is a small thing: did you expect even more?
“A lot of risk and three jumps were judged to be under rotated. It is a defect that over time, as is already happening, I will lose. It does not worry me. Instead I was a little surprised by the level 3 calls on all tops ”.
Better than her, however, only the Japanese Kagiyama, vice-champion of the world in office, who has even recovered from seventh place and the Russian Kolyada, already world champion and European bronze.
“In fact, I also have quadruple toe loop and quadruple salchow in the barrel: sooner or later, with the right timing, I will propose them in the competition”.
The Palavela, two years ago, did not bring her luck: at the final of the junior Grand Prix it was not up to its potential: this time instead …
“After so many difficult months, we are returning to competing in the presence of the public and this, for an athlete, is the best feeling. In addition, the people of Turin have always been particularly affectionate with me “.
The last three absolute Italian titles and two juniors, a youth world bronze, three podiums in the Grand Prix of the same category with a success and now this latest result: where is the limit?
“I don’t ask myself: I prefer to train at my best and continue to grow gradually. Certainly the objective of the Games so close stimulates me a lot. Even if, in my vision, it will be above all an opportunity to gain experience in view of the Milan-Cortina 2026 edition. That will be my Olympics at home ”.
In the meantime, how did this season’s programs come about?
“In the short, using the notes from the film’s soundtrack, I play Nureyev. My coach Lorenzo Magri and my choreographer Benoit Richaud argue that our stories, from certain points of view, run in parallel. We were both not very elegant at first. Then, thanks to the work, we got to the top. Of course, he is at the top of the world … “.
“Also because of my passion for space and science fiction, I use the music of Interstellar and Armageddon. I feel them very much mine “.
When will we see her again in the race?
“At the test of the Challenger Series circuit in Warsaw on 18-19 November, at the Italian championships in Turin at the beginning of December and then the calendar, with the European, Olympics and World Championships in its sights, is to be defined”.
Rizzo himself, who has been back in Bergamo for a few months now, is no longer part of your working group: what has changed for you?
“Actually not much because we have always trained in ‘different teams’.
“I finished the linguistic high school last summer and for this season I preferred to focus on sport. But next time I’m going to go to college. As a film lover, I intend to attend an art and entertainment course “.
Do you keep going back and forth Merano-Egna?
“Yes, it’s a 35 minute drive. But at least, since I have my driving license, I no longer force my mother Heldegard to be my driver ”.
And does the idea of moving to the United States one day remain valid?
“Absolutely, to train or, after my career, to teach. We’ll see”.
November 10, 2021 (change November 10, 2021 | 19:32)
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Grassl: “A lot of risk, I dream of Beijing. And … you haven’t seen everything”