PERSEVERANCE AND TALENT: RICCARDO TONETTI, THE FIRST "BOLZANINO" IN THE SKI WORLD CUP
Skiing every weekend with mum and dad. The first skiing courses – a familiar childhood memory for many people here in Bolzano. But for Riccardo Tonetti it was to become much more: as a member of the Rosengarten ski club, his early years were dominated by the rhythm of intensive training. School in the morning, then off to the Karezza ski area at the foot of the Rosengarten and Latemar ranges, armed with a panino, training from 2.00 to 4.30pm before returning home where his school homework awaited him. Apart from being talented you also need to be highly-motivated and to have an iron will to survive this sort of pressure. Riccardo was up to the challenge and after winning various national junior championships, he has now been promoted to the national team. As a slalom specialist he hasn’t just perfected his technique, but also, by the by, has completed his studies in economics at the university of Trento.
That future skiing champions don’t necessarily have in to be born in the shadow of the mountains was demonstrated by Alberto Tomba (from Bologna) and Claudia Giordani (from Milan). Not everybody is fortunate enough to have the ski-slopes on their doorstep like Sabina Panzanini or Denise Karbon. Bolzano is proud of its first ‘Azzurro’ as Italy’s national athletes are called. As a member of the Finance and Customs police, together with Sigmar Klotz and Dominik Paris, he will represent Italy’s colours in the Ski World Cup. What does the slalom racer do in his free time (assuming he has any)? Hobbies, music, dancing, girls? Tonetti laughs: “All of these, but especially one: a blonde angel called Angela, a physiotherapist from Bolzano, and then cycling, hiking, economics books and the odd thriller.”