Goggia receives the flag from Mattarella: “I’m here also thanks to his phone call”

At the Quirinale the President of the Republic awarded the Italian flag to the Italian skier and the Paralympic Bertagnolli: “This year we have denied the cliché that Italians are undisciplined, we have been creative and we have won. Now continue to go beyond your limits”

It was a particular ceremony that took place this morning at the Quirinale for the delivery of the tricolor to the athletes leaving for the Beijing Winter Games. There was not only the enthusiasm for the imminent mission, but a lot, a lot, emotion for the end of the seven-year term of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. Except him, everyone spoke with shining eyes and a trembling voice.

Sofia’s call

Among the most excited there was certainly Sofia Goggia, the standard-bearer chosen for the opening ceremony of the Olympics after the gold won in the free at the Pyongyang Games. After receiving the tricolor he spoke off the cuff, recounting a special episode: “I like to think that this role did not start with my victory in Korea, but also with that call that you, President Mattarella, made me after the injury that prevented me from participate in the World Championships in Cortina. She told me words that I have vivid in my mind, she urged me to go further, towards distant goals, towards Beijing 2022. She urged me to look into my heart, to go on regardless of the obstacles in my path and I believe to have done so. Being the standard-bearer does not only mean waving the flag during the opening ceremony, but being a guarantor of ethical values, not only sporting ones, which you must always know how to adopt, with the race suit but also in civilian clothes. we will all do it “. Giacomo Bertagnolli, 4 medals in Korea, will be the standard-bearer of the Paralympics: “It is a very difficult task, with this flag I represent not only me, but the entire Paralympic movement. It will be an exceptional Paralympic Games, we will give 1000 for 1000 to obtain results, but above all to be able to tell our stories, the stories of our lives that many still escape “.

The president and the clichés

Mattarella applauds. He has always been very attached to the Paralympic movement, recalled the president Luca Pancalli, he reiterated it in his speech full of smiles and affection: “I would like to emphasize the particular value of Paralympic sport, which has grown a lot in recent years thanks to protagonism of its protagonists. It is a measure of civilization “. Then he reminded the entire Azzurri delegation: “The golden year of sport that is about to end and will certainly continue in the one that is about to open, was a response of hope and optimism offered to the country by the sports world. It is interesting. reflecting on this, these successes have disproved a cliché widespread in Europe, unfounded and hard to die, of an undisciplined Italian people, confusing with this the aptitude for imagination, creativity, inventiveness. That creativity and inventiveness that probably has helped our country, including its sports world, in difficulties, in the pandemic emergency, to find different, unusual ways of training, of concentration, of not losing athletic form, as has happened in other areas of the country’s life . You really represented Italy in Tokyo and it will certainly be like that in Beijing. You have gone beyond the limits and you will do it again. Our fellow citizens expect many medals and that you return ate honor with participation in our country and our flag “.

Emotions and hopes

The president of Coni Giovanni Malagò is also very excited, almost moved by greeting Mattarella: “Mr. President, I begin with a single word, thank you. Thank you for your infinite, constant, precise, affectionate human and competent attention and sensitivity that he has always had in these seven years towards Italian sport. I promise you that the team has worked very well, despite Covid, and now we have a much better chance of obtaining medals in Beijing. The standard-bearer is Sofia Goggia and for the first time the one for the closing ceremony, Michi Maioli, for a moment never so important in which the mayor of Beijing will hand over the flag to the mayors of Milan and Cortina. It has been an incredible year, the numbers speak for themselves, many say it is unrepeatable, perhaps not without reason , but we love challenges and this is the one of the future. With her as our guide and our beacon “. And the president of the Paralympic Committee Pancalli: “It is a unique moment also because it comes at the end of its seven years, seven years in which the Paralympic movement has exploded and you have always been there. Today in receiving the flag we do not only collect the competitive challenge but also the commitment to continue the idea of ​​sport that you have given us, as individual and collective growth, as a cultural revolution of the country. a circle that will not close “. The Undersecretary for Sport Valentina Vezzali also underlined another aspect: “In front of you, Mr. President, there are athletes, coaches and managers, called to an important task: to continue to excite Italians, stimulating the spirit of emulation and arousing the desire to play sports. This is the greatest gift that sporting 2021 has given to Italy and it is what we hope to continue living in the new year “.

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Goggia receives the flag from Mattarella: “I’m here also thanks to his phone call”