The eternal Di Mario and the golden age: “If needed, I dive back”

The Olympian who presides over the Horizon at the age of 42 dived into the 2nd round of the Euroleague, with the team in emergency due to Covid: “At home they were scared, but it was very cool”

An Olympic title, one world title and three European ones, only to remain in the sweet sea of ​​gold, in the midst of many other medals. And then 12 league titles and six European Cups in the water, two other tricolors and a Len Cup as manager. But the last weekend without a win will remain among the special memories of Tania Di Mario: “It was very cool”. Four years after retiring, at the age of 42, the Roman who presides over the Catania Horizon has decided to dive into Budapest in the second round of the Euroleague to limit the emergency. The positivity to Covid by five players (Gant, Vukovic, Leone, Spampinato, Condorelli) had forced the coach Miceli to draw from the nursery for the Hungarian away game, already complicated regardless. Two defeats (8-15 with Uralochka, 7-9 with Vouliagmeni) and a proud draw (9-9 with Ujpest) led to the elimination, but Di Mario has shown that she still knows how to do it – in addition to one moving dedication – and not just for the four goals. Ujpest and Uralochka centered the quarterfinals (Padova passed the group organized at home, Roma didn’t make it in Athens). “I had just five workouts in my legs, now I no longer do active sports, but thank goodness my body is intact. It seemed only right to be next to the girls in this difficult time, they were heroic. Considering that arbitrage in Europe is very strict – and indeed it was also in Budapest – my contribution would have served at least in numerical terms. But in the family I only communicated at the last moment that I would have thrown myself. My partner Raffaele was frightened: “Be careful not to get hurt …”. My mom also: “What the f … are you saying?”. But everything went smoothly ”.


Precisely in consideration of the pandemic we still have to deal with, Tania at the beginning of the season was prudently included in the Len list of players. And it is also the same in those of the Fin for the A-1, already marked by repeated postponements due to coronavirus. The Italian champion Orizzonte which after the last tournament saw the withdrawal of three columns such as Gorlero, Aiello and Garibotti, sponsored by Ekipe (sports center based in San Giovanni la Punta), played only five games out of eight and is at nine points, 12 less than leaders Padua. “If I need to, I dive back, yes. Let’s hope not “. The attacker – who grew up in Vis Nova, in the Setterosa since ’99, graduated in Economics and Commerce – actually retired after the 2016 Rio Games closed with silver behind the usual Americans, but decided to dive back into the 2017 Final Six, even in that case for a small emergency: the thorny case of Ioannou’s membership (subsequently resolved), which could not be deployed, led the Olympian to lend a hand in the water and give a signal to sports justice. When you say a tough guy. And already after the 2008 Games he had thought of retiring, with a view to having a child: “Then Raffaele made me change my mind. Certainly it is not easy for a woman to reconcile high-level sport, affection, study. Pellegrini’s retreat? I know what Federica is feeling in this period: diving into the pool will remain the funniest thing of our life, nothing will be able to overcome it. As Baglioni says, water is the biggest game in the world ”.


Di Mario has always loved to read (“A good book, during college, is indispensable”) even if in recent years the time available has decreased: on December 16, 2018 the enchanting Giovanni was born. “Now I’m leafing through Changing the water to flowers, a novel by Valérie Perrin. Sad, but very beautiful “. Waiting to find out if it will be necessary to throw himself back into the fray, Tania is cheering for the Setterosa, expected in 2022 by the European and World Championships. But first there will be the World League, the inaugural testing ground for coach Silipo: 6 teams divided into 2 groups, one-way matches, blue in Russia on January 25 and at home on February 22 with Spain. “Failure to qualify for the Olympics was a hard blow, but unfortunately it affected the historic moment. We weren’t lucky, in every sense. I am confident that a good cycle can be opened, Silipo is the right person and will have the maximum cooperation from us. The only advice I can give, and it applies to anyone, is to never make revolutions. To grow, the youngest ones cannot help but have experienced companions. I would not have become a champion without some extraordinary “hens”. She wouldn’t have made it to the Euroleague at 42.

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The eternal Di Mario and the golden age: “If needed, I dive back”