Tomba and Compagnoni between memories and hopes: “We retired too soon”

The two champions at the Sport Festival, show towards Milan-Cortina: “Now let’s give prestige to Italy”

From our correspondent Simone Battaggia

Alberto was needed to find the slogan for the relaunch of winter sports: “Come on the chairlift, the pandemic is over”. Deborah was needed to understand that even a champion gets excited at the Trento Festival: “I saw Tamberi in the hotel but I didn’t have the courage to go and disturb him”. Tomba and Compagnoni were needed to relive their unforgettable years and to launch into the future, towards Beijing 2022 and Milan-Cortina 2026, which sees them as ambassadors and needs their energy.

The suitcase of memories

Tomb is still the Bomb. Overflowing and star performer. King and queen take the stage together, sit on the chairlift and begin to discard the memories. “I was envious of your fan club – attacks Deborah -, you are the first to have it”. Check a sheet from the Sierra Nevada match, the last of the Valtellinese: “My fans stole it and then gave it to me”. “We gave up too soon, me in 1998 and she in 1999 – Tomba rintuzza -. She said ‘I won’t enjoy myself without Alberto’ and withdrew. And to think that she could go on as far as Turin”. For real. Scroll through the images and the Gazette of their legendary careers, six gold medals at the Games in two. “They are the three circles at the top of the Olympic logo, but I also have the two silvers underneath” says Alberto Mephistophelus to Deborah, who instead of silver has one. The album opens on the Calgary party (“they were my first Games and I was really playing. Four years later it would have been tougher,” recalls Alberto); on Albertville and on that February 18 of miracles (Alberto oro in giant, Deborah in super-G) followed by the drama of the knee broken by the Valtellinese; on Lillehammer of the Bolognese comeback in slalom, from 12th to 2nd: “They brought me and not Stangassinger, who had won gold, in triumph. I was disappointed”. The two trained together, with Pietrogiovanna. “Skiing on Alberto’s lines gave me an advantage – says Deborah -. In slalom, however, Alberto was not good at teaching me, I only won one Cup race”. “But if you were gold at the World Cup! – Tomba immediately replies -. You don’t even remember what you won in your career …”.

Numbers and modesty

It is always them. Alberto keeps his obsession with numbers, with coincidences. Think of Calgary 1988 and remember the bib 1 premonitory in the giant and the 11 of the slalom that turned into 1 + 1; he takes “Futura”, the logo of Milan-Cortina, a stylized “26” which he turns to read a 92: “Like the year of Albertville, you will see that it will bring good”. Deborah remains a style teacher. “What a great message Tamberi sent with his gold after his injury. I see myself in him.” Alberto is a river in flood. “Gathering at the Stelvio in summer, I come from the Riviera. At the pass the lifts are closed. What to do? ‘Either walk or sleep there’, they tell me. ‘I have a 4×4, I get in the car’ I think. 3200 of the Livrio refuge everyone looks at me with two eyes like that. A few days later Piantanida also tries, only then it starts to snow. His car remained there for a month “.

Beijing and Cortina

There is Beijing at the gates and Tomba is playing the cards for the Azzurri. “De Aliprandini and Vinatzer can do something, then there is speed. But you need to get in shape in February. Those who start strong now in January have a decline” sums up the Bolognese. “We are strong with the girls – adds Deborah -, Goggia, Bassino and Brignone can give us satisfaction”. And then there is Milan-Cortina, “an Olympics for all Italians” according to Andrea Monti, communications director of the Games. “It will be a new edition for its economic, social and environmental sustainability – explains Deborah -. It will adapt to the territory, it will enhance what already exists”. “I would like it to be a one hundred percent sports Olympics – adds Alberto -, that many people can get close to skiing again. The pandemic will be over, it’s time to give it our all to give prestige to Italy”.

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Tomba and Compagnoni between memories and hopes: “We retired too soon”