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What an emotional event, the 30th European Powelifting Championships in 2007 in Koscian!
I was European Champion in the 67.5kg category and best European Athlete.
Then, on the initiative of the Italian Powerlifting Federation, I was elected by the European Congress of the European Powerlifting Federation to their Hall of Fame.
This is a source of immense satisfaction, crowning a long sporting career which began long ago in 1970.
When I was 6 my parents sent me to ballet classes. I was a slim, slight 6 year old and it seemed an appropriate choice. I was a dedicated pupil, and frequented these classes for 5 years, though I confess I found it a little boring. I do think, however, that ballet school was a very character building experience in my life.
After a few years I started gymnastics classes, where I met the most influential person in my sporting and non-sporting life: the parallel bars champion and Olympic gold medal winner, Giovanni Carminucci. Giovanni taught me determination, passion and a sense of sacrifice: an inestimable set of values which have enabled me to deal with the intensely hard world of competitive gymnastics. With his guidance, I have become more and more successful, but what is more important is that he introduced me to a calm and motivating environment where, gradually, an intense passion for gymnastics, and especially for competitive gymnastics, developed within me. Unfortunately a knee injury forced me to give up gymnastics, but my love of this sport made me stay in the field as an instructress for girls of 5 to 10 years old. I always try to transmit to these girls everything I learnt from Giovanni.
In 1984, when I was 21, I discovered weight training. I started with a little physiotherapy for my knee but I soon found I was treading the stage as a body builder... In this new sport, as with gymnastics, my dedication paid off and I made it to the European and World selections in 1990 of the Italian Body Building Federation, now the IFBB-Italy. Here my competitive spirit came to the fore. In 1989, just for fun, I took part in my first bench-press contest: a great success! I had discovered another great love of my life: Powerlifting.
In 1991 I gave up bodybuilding and began, with the same dedication as before, a new career as a powerlifter. In 1993 I became a member of the Italian Powerlifting Federation, where I encountered a very “sporting” world, where the idea of competition does not exist, where everybody is everybody else’s friend, ready to help one another, and where the only enemy... is “the bar”! With the encouragement of the Italian Federation, during the same year, I took part in my first international competition: the IPF World Championships in Jonkoping in Sweden. I finished fourth in the 67.5 kg category. I was competing with great athletes like Tanakova, Sjostrand, Zukova, Ingeborg, Boudreau, Kudinova, Ivanova and many others whom I no longer meet... and this is when my long association with powerlifting began: bringing me great satisfaction in all the international competitions: 2nd, 3rd, and 4thplaces...
The European Powerlifting Federation selected me 3 times for the World Games: 1997 in Lahti, 2001 in Akita and 2005 in Duisburg. Unfortunately the World Games brought me my only moments of disappointment during my career in the EPF and the IPF: each of the three times I finished bombed out!! But this was useful too; my character and determination grew stronger as I realised that “it isn’t important if you fall... what counts is that you get up again!” Since 1993 I have had the honour of competing in the European Powerlifting Federation and the International Powerlifting Federation. In these two “super-federations” I have always found an authentic “Olympic spirit” and I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with many of the champions of this sport. This is possible only when you live and compete together with many athletes from all over the world who share one sporting ideal. Now the IPF and the EPF have founded the Women’s Committee whose task is to promote the sport of powerlifting among women in Europe and the World. I will be watching with enthusiasm all the initiatives the Committee sets up, and I invite any interested girls to contact me, through the website of the Italian Federation, for information or advice. (www.powerliftingitalia-fipl.it)
In the IPF, the EPF and the Italian Federation, I have been trained in the ideal of clean sport. I have been tested for doping on average twice a year, every year since 1993. In 2005, in the space of 6 months, I was tested twice in competition and once I was tested OCT by three WADA doctors that came to the Sports Centre, in Rome where I work, to test me.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to several people who have played a valuable part in my life: My father and my mother, who have supported me even in times of defeat, and who have always made me feel like a winner. Fabio, who has been “patiently” by my side in my life and in my training for 5 years... and this is not an easy task! I would like to thank the President of the Italian Federation, Sandro Rossi, who, from the beginning of my career in the “iron” world, has always given me advice on training methods and planning. I would like to thank the Italian athletes who continuously support me and who I am honoured to represent in every competition. I have celebrated my victories with all of them and they have always been a source of comfort when I have been defeated. I would like to thank the Italian Federation. With their excellent organization they give all the athletes and technicians the opportunity to compete, reaching the objectives they have worked so hard for. “Our Federation” gives us all the opportunity to fulfil our dreams in the world of sport, to represent the national colours and to experience together sporting and non-sporting moments which we will remember into the future.
In this future, thinking back to the IPF, EPF and Italian Federation, to the competitions, to the travel all over the world, to the victories and the defeats, we will be able to say “I was there too!!” Yes, in Koscian in 2007 “I was there too!”